When I think of stew, I think of large chunks of beef in a soupy broth, but I've come to realize that stews need not be meat-centric to be flavorful. In fact, I've been making a flurry of stews this past week. My favorite was Tomatican, from none other than the Moosewood Collective's The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day. A Christmas present, this book is my current go-to for a quick and simple meal, one that doesn't require too much clean up or preparation.
A huge fan of soups, stews can stand alone and make for a nice topping for rice, barley, or quinoa. Last week, I made a Chilean stew called Tomatican twice. It goes something like this:
2 c. chopped onions
1 fresh chile, minced, or 1/4 tsp. cayenne
2 tbs. olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 c. frozen lima beans
3 c. undrained canned tomatoes, or 1-28 oz. can plum tomatoes
2 c. fresh or frozen corn
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro (I used about 2x as much)
salt to taste
In a heavy nonreactive soup pot or saucepan, saute the onions and chile or cayenne in oil for about 5 minutes, until onion begins to soften. Add cumin and lima beans and saute, stirring, for a couple minutes. Add juice from the tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Chop the whole tomatoes right in the can. Stir in the tomatoes, corn, and cilantro into the pan. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add salt to taste.
I served this over quinoa seasoned with a bit of salt and fresh lime juice, and feta.