It’s autumn and the garden is winding down. Pretty soon, it will be limited to some cold-hardy greens in cold frames. I had a bunch of odds and ends to use up, both from the garden and in the refrigerator, and soup is a great way to use up veggies! I made three different soups, filled them into glass mason jars, and put them in the refrigerator for the week. One of them was a delicious, thick and rich stew with mushrooms and assorted veggies. This is one of those things that you can add something, take something away, switch ingredients, use whatever you have on hand- and it’s going to be just delicious. Please use all ingredients and amounts as suggestions, go clean out your fridge and garden, and see what you come up with!
- Butter, 2 tablespoons
- Leek, 3 medium stalks, chopped and rinsed (2 large stalks or 1 small onion or equivalent shallots would also work- chop and save the leek leaves for vegetable broth)
- Zucchini, 1 large, peeled, seeded, and chopped (a few of the zucchini in my garden grew enormous before I even knew they were ready to pick, 2-3 zucchini from the grocery store would be approximately what I used- save the seeds to toast like pumpkin seeds)
- Bell peppers, 3-4 chopped
- Mushrooms, one 16-ounce package (I had a package of sliced button mushrooms that needed to be used up, but other types of mushrooms would add more flavor)
- Stewed tomatoes (I used half of a pint jar I previously canned, but a small can from the store should work fine)
- Parsley, 1 large bunch, chopped
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a dutch oven, add the butter, and turn the heat to medium.
- Add leeks (or chopped onion or chopped shallots) and bell pepper, and cook until the peppers are soft.
- Add mushrooms and cook until they soften.
- Add chopped zucchini, stewed tomatoes, and chopped parsley.
- Let cook until the zucchini is tender (this will depend on how big your zucchini chunks are, I left mine big).
- Turn the heat off, and puree half of the stew. Add it back to the pot and stir to even out the texture throughout the stew.
- Taste, and season with salt and pepper (or whatever else you’d like) to your liking. Wait until this point to add any salt or pepper especially if using canned stewed tomatoes which often have their own herbs and seasonings added.
The stew was delicious, but next time I make it, I think it would benefit from a few carrots. My batch filled one quart and one pint canning jars (about 6 cups), with a little left over for a small serving for the cook to enjoy. The addition of carrots and possibly some other roasted veggie would easily have made two quarts (8 cups)
- Add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt per bowl just prior to serving.
- Serve over rice, quinoa, or potatoes (roasted or boiled- though roasted with butter, rosemary, and thyme sounds delicious to me right about now- I guess it’s time to go roast some potatoes!)
- Hollow out a small round squash, pumpkin, or bread boule, and pour the stew inside the hollow. If using a squash or pumpkin, save the seeds to toast in the oven.