Root and Autumn Vegetable Stew
Alert!! A great Book Club choice!
Slow cooking vegetables brings them to a fabulous sweetness and deep flavor. These basic root and autumn vegetables have sustained humans for a long time, meat not always plentiful year-round. A variety of vegetables work in this stew, so use your favorites and vegetables in season. Simple and flavorful, slow cooking vegetables is a simple and economic way for busy cooks to get a wonderful meal on the table. These starchy root vegetables create a nutritious and healthy alternative to more processed carbs like pasta, plus make a cozy and comforting meal.
A commercial flight goes through turbulence and then crashes into an unknown time and place, the Cretaceous Era, when humans did not yet exist. Tomorrow's Flight is not a typical time travel novel, rather the playing with time questions our beliefs of who we are as people, what we would do to survive and how, if the opportunity is given, would we change fate?
Dalton, the youngest plane passenger muses, “There’s so little about this world or time that we understand. And, really, we have no idea where we are.” The other characters and many readers agree. Martyn Ellington and Steven Stiefel are to be congratulated for writing this fabulous read.
Root and Autumn Vegetable Stew
2 tablespoons olive oil, more if needed
1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and chopped
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 leek, white and light green part, cleaned and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, cleaned and halved
3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
1 parsnip, chopped
1 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15-oz can white beans, drained
Turn oven on to 375F. Line an oven proof sheet pan with parchment paper. Evenly arrange the butternut squash on the pan. Drizzle olive oil over the pieces. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Roast for 20 minutes or until fork tender but not falling apart.
In a skillet over medium heat, sauté onions in olive oil. Add garlic, leek, celery and fennel, stirring to keep evenly cooking. Remove from skillet and place in bottom of ovenproof pot with lid. You can also make this recipe in a slow cooker.
Add mushrooms to pot and additional oil if needed. Sauté until mushrooms are slightly browned. Add to pot with over vegetables and cover.
Add roasted butternut squash, carrots and parsnip into pot with vegetables. Season with salt, pepper and turmeric, turning vegetables to coat.
Add diced tomatoes and white beans, stirring gently to mix with vegetables. Lower oven temperature to 350F. Cover pot and place in oven on middle rack. Cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir, making sure there is enough liquid in the pot. Return to oven for another 30 minutes. Test vegetables with fork to make sure all are fork tender. If not, return to oven for another 15-20 minutes and test again. This partially depends on how large the pieces of vegetable are.
You may also make this on top of the stove. When all ingredients are in the pot, cover, bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer Stir gently every 20 minutes or so, adding liquid, water or stock, if needed.
Check seasoning and serve. This stew lasts well in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Other veggies you can use: chopped turnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, celery, cauliflower, zucchini, green beans, bell peppers
Make it richer: Add 1/2 cup red wine with diced tomatoes and white beans.
Add meat or poultry: Beef: Sear 1/2 to 1 pound of beef cubes and add to vegetables with diced tomatoes. Chicken: Tuck 5-6 chicken legs or 4-5 thighs in with vegetables. Follow recipe.
Don't like tomatoes? Add in an equal amount broth and/or wine. Red wine gives a heartier flavor and white wine give a lighter and sweeter taste.