With the snow blizzards, cold wind and rain, that most of Europe has experienced over the past few weeks, a hearty vegetable stew is great comfort food to enjoy. It brings colour, taste and nutrition to your plate, warming you up from the inside.
We love the combination of vegetables listed below, but if you do not have these veggies to hand, not to worry. Enjoy a selection from your fridge. Peppers work well, as do swede, turnip, celeriac or parsnip. Frozen peas will add colour. If you don’t have fresh thyme or rosemary in your fridge, you can replace with dried herbs – remember to cut the portion in half (or less).
To have a hearty stew, with a great consistency, you can amend the amount of corn flour that you add. This is the thickener in the recipe. If you need to thicken the stew, make a “roux” – add one tablespoon of corn flour into a cup, add a little bit of cold water and stir to combine. This roux can then be added into the pan – you need to bring the stew back up to heat, stirring well, so that the corn flour is absorbed. If the stew gets too thick, add a little extra boiling water and stir well.
Hearty vegetable stew recipe
Calories: 493 total, 123 per serving
1 onion, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 leek, sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1 large courgette
½ butternut squash
1 – 2 cups water (or homemade veggie stock)
1 tbsp corn flour
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp mustard
Handful fresh rosemary
Handful fresh thyme
In a large pan cook the onion and celery for 10 minutes over a low heat until they start to soften – use water (instead of oil) and add more water as necessary to prevent sticking. Add the leek and carrot and cook for a further 5 minutes. The onion and celery should be soft. You can leave it to cook for a little longer if you want, so that the onion starts to go brown – this turns the taste a little sweeter as the onion starts to caramelize.
Add the garlic, carrot and dried oregano and cook for 5 minutes until the carrots start to soften. Then add the courgette and butternut squash and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Add the corn flour and stir well to coat the veggies. Slowly add the water (or veggie stock) stirring well. As the stew heats it will start to thicken, so keep stirring, until it starts to boil. Turn down the heat to low.
Then add the lemon juice, bay leaf, mustard, fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. Cover and cook over a low heat for at least one hour. The sauce should thicken – if it is too runny, you can stir in more corn flour as needed (make a roux first then add). Taste. Add more mustard, oregano, thyme, rosemary or lemon juice as necessary. Serve topped with fresh cut thyme.
Variations for hearty vegetable stew
Add some tofu, or cooked lentils or chickpeas into the stew for protein content. You can also add some heat to the dish with the addition of cayenne pepper or fresh chili.
Serve with brown rice, millet or other grain for slow energy release. We enjoy serving vegetable stew with bean burgers.
This dish will freeze, so make a big portion and save it for later.
Learn about nutrition and plant-based food
If you are new to vegan cooking, you can read our article: tips for easy vegan cooking. Here one of our chefs, one of our mentors and I share ideas on how to make cooking plant-based food easier at home.
We follow a plant-based diet here at La Crisalida health and wellbeing Retreats, to deliver nutrition to your body´s cells tissues and organs. What you eat can make a big difference to your health – read this months book review Food is better medicine than drugs.
We publish a new recipe regularly on our blog page – sign up to the newsletter to receive recipes direct into your inbox each month. Enjoy and stay warm!
About the author
- Lisa is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. She is an Epidemiologist, therapeutic hatha and yin yoga teacher and also teaches mindfulness meditation. Lisa has studied NLP and hypnosis, as well as nutrition (she designs the menus).