Veganuary is here!
As I write Storm Brendan et al has been and gone – there is wind and rain a plenty! Here in North Devon we know all about this in the winter months. It’s time to snuggle up and make this comforting plant based stew. The trick here is to make layers of flavour within a single pot; the long cooking time of the pulses gives ample opportunity for this. These quantities make a large amount, enough for 4 – 6 servings, but it freezes well or it can be let down to make soup. It also makes a good base for a veggie curry on another day. The list of vegetables is just a suggestion; use what you have or can get hold of. All sorts of root veg work fine but take care not to use too much of any one strong flavours. You need about 850g as well as the potatoes and onions. The garnish of pink onions really help to lift it – this idea came from Rick Steins “Road to Mexico” – they are worth making to add to anything that needs a zing.
Heart of the Home Veggie Stew
For the pulse base
70g dried aduki beans, cooked (or rinsed from a can)
100g yellow split peas
70g UK split fava beans
100g red lentils
2 heaped teaspoons Ginger/garlic paste
2 Tablespoons curry powder
1¾ Litres Veg stock (or use a cube and water)
2 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
For the vegetables
A fewBroccoli sprigs cooked
For the soused pink onion garnish
100g Red onion
30 ml cider vinegar
15ml orange juice
1 teaspoon salt
1small tin coconut milk
Fresh parsley or coriander, finely chopped
First, chop the onions into small dice and sauté in a little oil. When they turn translucent, add the garlic ginger paste and stir for a couple of minutes. Then add the curry powder and the yellow split peas and stir for a minute more. Add half of the vegetable stock and the bay leaves, bring to the boil and then turn down to a simmer.
Next, make the soused onion. Cut the red onion into slices as thinly as you can and place them in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Drain well and shake off any excess water. Pack into a hot clean jar. Add the salt to the vinegar and orange juice and cover the onion with the liquid. Keep in the fridge until required.
Peel and wash all the vegetables apart from the shallots and broccoli. Cut them into largish chunks, about 2 cm. When the split peas are beginning to soften and break up slightly, add the fava beans and the red lentils. You may need to add more stock. Bring back to the boil, add the carrots and potatoes and turn down to a simmer.
Take the skin off the shallots and trim the ends, leaving enough of the root bit to keep them together. Heat some oil in a small frying pan and sauté the shallots until they take on colour. Cover the pan and turn down to the lowest heat. Cook them, shaking the pan from time to time, until they are cooked through and caramelized on the outside.
When the carrots are beginning to soften, add the rest of the vegetables and the stock. Cook gently until the veg are all cooked and the pulses are melted into the stock. Add the salt and check the seasoning. Warm the aduki beans and the broccoli.
To serve – ladle the veg and pulses into individual deep plates. Divide the shallots among them with the cooking juices if any. Push pieces of broccoli into the stew and strew the aduki beans around. Sprinkle with the chopped herbs. Spoon some coconut milk over the dish and top with a few of the soused onions. Enjoy!
Vanessa Ebdon ® 15/01/2020
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