As soon as the temperature drops hearty warming meals are called for, and this vegetarian stew is perfect for a filling and warming dinner. Button mushrooms and root vegetables cooked in a rich red wine sauce make this vegetable stew a delicious cosy dinner!
2mediumparsnipspeeled then cut into equally sized slices
250g(1 ¾ cups) swede (rutabaga)peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
800ml(3 ⅓ cups) stockmade using vegan vegetable bouillon
2dried bay leaves
½tspsea saltmore if needed
½tspfreshly ground black pepper
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large dutch oven or stockpot.Add the chopped onion and chopped celery along with a pinch of sea salt and cook over low heat for 10 minutes.After 10 minutes add the carrots and cook for another 10 minutes. Stir often so the onion doesn't burn.Prepare the vegetables while the onions are cooking.
Next, turn up the heat to medium and add all the mushrooms to the pot, stir well and cook for about 5 minutes or until the mushrooms start to release some of their juices.Then add 2 cloves of garlic, that have been put through a garlic press or finely minced. Add ¾ tablespoon of chopped rosemary and ½ a tablespoon of thyme leaves. Stir well and cook for a minute.
Once you can smell the garlic and herbs add 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree (paste) along with 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of Henderson's relish or vegan Worcestershire sauce. Stir the puree and sauces into the vegetables and cook for a minute.
Now add the flour to the pot, stir until it is absorbed.Then pour the wine, stir it into the vegetables and you should now have a thick sauce. Now add the parsnips and swede and give everything a good stir.Next pour in the stock, give it another stir then add the remaining salt and black pepper. Add the 2 dried bay leaves then reduce the heat to low and simmer the stew uncovered for 45 - 50 minutes stirring occasionally to avoid anything sticking to the bottom of the pan. Check the seasoning after 30 minutes and add more salt and pepper if needed.The stew is done when you have a thick sauce and the vegetables are cooked through. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Onions - I know it seems like a long time to cook the onions but it really makes a difference to the flavour of the stew. Cooking the onions longer over low heat until soft reduces the acidity of the onions and makes them sweeter. This adds so much flavour to the stew. So I recommend cooking them for at least 20 minutes.
Wine - red wine makes this stew so I recommend using it. I used a Malbec but you can use whatever red you like. If you are serving this to young children then you could omit the wine as no matter how long you cook this you will not "cook-off" all the alcohol. To replace the wine I would add a little more stock and a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar.
Root Vegetables - Make sure and cut the swede (rutabaga) into equal bite-size pieces. The carrots and parsnips should also be cut into equally sized pieces, this will ensure that the vegetables cook at the same time.
Mushrooms - I use button chestnut mushrooms, similar to crimini mushrooms. You could also use baby Bellas or white button mushrooms. Bigger mushrooms should be cut in half and smaller mushrooms left whole. This will ensure even cooking.
Stock - I make my stock using a vegan vegetable bouillon, I use 2 teaspoons of bouillon and 800 ml of boiling water.
Freezing/Storing - Any leftover stew can be stored in the fridge once it has cooled. It should be eaten with 3 days. You can also freeze this stew if you wish. Once the stew has cooled transfer it to freezer-friendly containers and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight and reheat on the hob or in the microwave.
Nutritional Information - is calculated using an online nutrition tool, it is approximate and does not include mash or bread. It is based on one serving of four.
Weights and measurements - For US readers, I use Cuisipro measuring cups and spoons, and a Pyrex measuring jug for liquids. These are the industry standard. Cup/spoon volumes can differ from brand to brand, for accuracy, I recommend weighing all ingredients if possible for best results.