The calendar says it’s coming up to winter (even if the thermometer in the Midwest says it’s time we start thinking about global warming). Like all hearty people of the upper Midwest, I like a good soupy stewy thingy. For those of you not accustomed to harsh winter weather, allow me to illuminate you. A soupy stewy is a bunch of vegetables (and meat, if you swing that way) mixed with liquid and spices. It can contain noodles or rice, if you want to be fancy, but it’s best left to the basics. The consistency comes out a bit like soup and a bit like stew. The beauty of the soupy stewy (and yes, I just made that term up) is that you can make it whatever consistency you’d like—bit thicker for the stew lovers, but thinner for the soup lovers.
And, the other plus is that it cleans out your fridge. Because it can pretty much contain whatever you have lying around. Add enough spices and it’s bound to turn out OK. Here’s my recipe that I invented one night.
Vegetable Soupy Stewy Thingy
- 2-3 T oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and sliced into rounds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 turnip, peeled and chopped
- 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced into 2½” diameter
- ¼ head of cauliflower, chopped into florets
- 2 t cumin
- 1½ t ground coriander
- ½ t thyme
- 4 C vegetable stock
- 28 oz can tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 C dry lentils
- 1 T tomato paste
- Dash of Tabasco sauce
In a medium to large stock pot, heat oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent.
Add the rest of the vegetables and sauté until just tender (don’t overcook or then you’ll have mushy veggies). Stir in cumin, coriander, and thyme. Heat for 1 minute. Add salt and pepper, to taste. (Keep in mind that canned tomatoes have a bit of sodium, so go light on the salt until the end if you’re concerned.)
Add vegetable stock and tomatoes with their juices. Stir in lentils. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste. Check the consistency. If it’s too thick for your taste, add more vegetable stock or water. Simmer for another 30 minutes or until you get the consistency you’d like.
Add a few dashes of Tabasco sauce, stir, and serve.
This is a great way to use up those root vegetables that you get in your autumn veggie boxes. (Seriously… how many turnips can one household eat?) If you make it super thick, you can serve it over rice, but I like it more on the soupy side.
With this soupy stewy, I can now say, “Bring on winter!” (Whenever it decides to gets here.)