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Vegetarian stew

Vegetarian stew with New Zealand spinach

Vegetarian stew with New Zealand spinach

Stew. Unglamorous, homey, comforting, perfect-when-you’re-sick stew.

Struck down with an unseasonal cold, I needed some comfort food the likes of which my Irish granny used to make. Trouble is, I didn’t much fancy the neck of lamb she used to put in it. So here’s my invention: a stew for vegetarians that’s every bit as hearty and flavoursome as the original.

 Ingredients (2 portions)

  • Two small potatoes
  • An onion
  • A bunch of green veg – NZ spinach worked well here
  • A can of lentils (or soak the dried ones well in advance)
  • A tablespoon of plain flour or corn starch
  • Rosemary and parsley
  • Vegetable stock
  • Butter or margarine for gravy base – about 25g
  1. Dice the potatoes into small cubes (1cm) and slice the onion.
  2. The NZ spinach is better after blanching (boiling quickly, then throwing away the water) – so do that now, then chop it.
  3. Melt the butter in a large pan and soften the onion and potatoes in it.
  4. When the onion is translucent, add the flour. The mixture will start to stick from this point on, so keep stirring!
  5. Cook the floured vegetables for another 90 seconds or so. They may brown a little.
  6. Add stock a ladle-full at a time, keeping a good stewey consistency in the pan.
  7. After the first stock, add the spinach, lentils and herbs.
  8. Keep stirring and adding liquid until the potato is cooked – another 5 minutes or so.
  9. Adjust seasoning to taste and enjoy!

Although this has some in-season ingredients rather than the classic winter root vegetables, it hit the stew target perfectly – just what the doctor ordered!

The stew sticks easily so keep stirring!

The stew sticks easily so keep stirring!

 

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