When cold weather strikes, there’s nothing as comforting as a warm stew. As much as I love soup, a stew’s hearty combination of textures is just what the body needs after a long day’s worth of hard work, long commutes, and chilly weather. But stew can become boring and unexciting with time. The recipe I am sharing with you today is here to spice things up and transform your understanding of what stew can be.
Made with eggplant, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and beans, this stew is satisfying, an exciting combination of creamy, crunchy, and can I say meaty! Because the Brussels sprouts are not added until the last second, they retain their crunch and make each mouthful more interesting. Leeks and garlic melt into the stew, giving everything a delicate sweet background flavor, which is enhanced with the addition of raisins. These plump up in the broth and jewel every bite with a pop of juicy sweetness. The aromas cumin, cinnamon, chili, ginger, and saffron take this dish to the next level: earthy, nutty, and flowery. Delicious! To finish this already special dish, pine nuts and cilantro add richness and a pop of freshness!
Go ahead, try this at home, and make this recipe yours. After all, this is a stew. The most important thing you can do as you cook it is to taste and adjust. Unlike baking, this dish should be easy to make. Adapt the recipe as you go, add more vegetables and replace what is here for those you have at hand. Potatoes and pumpkin would be great additions, and could replace the cauliflower. But keep the spices, they make this dish a special one!
Aromatic Vegetable Stew
Cook time 40-45 minutes
- 1 poblano pepper
- 2 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 leek, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. powder cumin
- Dash cinnamon
- Dash chili powder
- 1 large eggplant, cubed
- ¼ whole cauliflower, cubed
- 2 cups cooked white or garbanzo beans
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1” piece peeled fresh ginger
- Pinch of saffron
- 6-8 Brussels sprouts
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup pine nuts
- Handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place poblano pepper in oven, and roast for 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 minutes. Peel skin off pepper and remove seeds. Set aside.
Pour two tablespoons of coconut oil into a Dutch oven. Cook over medium-high heat for one minute. Add leeks, cook for one minute. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, and a generous pinch of salt. Toss for a couple of minutes. Add eggplant, cauliflower, and white beans. Cook for another couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ginger and poblano pepper, then 2 ½ cups water or vegetable broth. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for half an hour. Remove lid, taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary. Add more liquid if the stew is looking a bit dry. Add raisins, Brussels sprouts and saffron. Cook, uncovered, for another 5-6 minutes. When ready, scoop into bowl and sprinkle with cilantro and pine nuts. Serve with quinoa, brown rice, pasta or bread. Devour!