I think the easiest way to make something good out of whatever vegetables you have on hand is to make soup. And it’s great, because I really like soup. I like cooking it. I like eating it. I like that you can make a big pot and put the leftovers in the fridge and have lunches for days. I do a fair amount of professional cooking, and soups and stews are the most obvious choices when I need to feed a mixed group of carnivores-vegetarians-vegans-gluten free – whatevers. It’s pretty simple just to make a big pot of veggie stew, maybe serve it with a green salad and a grain.
Really, one of the main things I like about soup is that its a huge pot of vegetables, so when I have a bowl, I can pat myself on the back for eating healthy things and not Doritos.
Winter Vegetable and Lentil Stew
Cook Time: 2 hrs.
Makes: a big batch!
- 2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 leek, sliced in half, rinsed, and then sliced into thin half moons
- 1 carrot, diced
- 3 celery ribs, tops included, diced
- 4 parsnips, diced
- 1/2 sm. buttercup squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced into 1/2” cubes
- 1 bunch of swiss chard, roughly chopped
- 2 c. crushed tomatoes with juice
- about 13 c. water or stock
- 1 lb. lentils
- salt and pepper
- a splash of apple cider vinegar
- a pinch of cayenne pepper
- grated parmesan cheese, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot, on medium high heat. Add the carrots, celery, onions, leeks, parsnips, and buttercup squash. Saute for about ten minutes, til the onions start looking translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients- the tomatoes, water, swiss chard (stems and all!) and lentils, and reduce heat to medium. Simmer for a few hours, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the cider vinegar and cayenne if you think it needs a little kick. To serve, top with grated parmesan.