A veggie stew for these cold days and funny cauliflower

November 6, 2009

It’s winter!!!!!!!! My fuschia was getting ready to flower again and suddenly it’s all about how many jumpers you can  wear at the same time (it ain’t half chilly up here at chez organic, good for the veggies bad bad bad for anyone sitting in front of a computer screen all day). To combat the cold I’ve been making hearty fare this week and a veggie stew/soup I made on Tuesday went down especially well. It’s kind of a version of minestrone  but faster and it’s vegan! As usual I used plenty of onions and garlic (great for combating colds and flus), then carrots, tinned tomatoes and some pinto beans I had left over in the fridge (you can use whatever you have – chickpeas, butterbeans whatever). I cooked all these up (and warmed up the kitchen and myself aswell) and just before serving I tossed some shredded spinach in a pan with garlic and olive oil then stirred it in at the end for an extra garlic hit. It’s quick, very tasty and keeps very well so you can make double quantities and freeze or have for lunch the next day. I served mine with brown rice but couscous, quinoa or pasta would all work well…..

A hearty veggie stew

You’ll need the following but it really is a moveable feast so feel free to use whatever you have:

4 medium carrots

2 onions

olive oil

6-8 cloves garlic

2 tins chopped tomatoes

1 scant teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 red chilli (take out the seeds if you don’t want too much heat)

1 tin beans

1/2 litre vegetable stock – as always I use Marigold

200gr greens (spinach, cabbage, kale etc) destemmed and shredded

Begin by chopping the onions and get them gently frying in olive oil while you scrub and chop the carrots. I did them in quarters about 1cm thick but to be honest it doesn’t make too much difference so it’s up to you. When the onions have softened and are beginning to change colour you can chop 4 cloves of garlic and throw them in along with chilli (finely chopped). Let them soften (about 2-3 minutes) then add the tinned tomatoes, oregano, salt and a pinch of sugar (gets rid of any bitterness the tomatoes have). Allow the tomatoes to cook down by at least a third then throw in the carrots and stock. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes. Rinse the beans well then throw them in, stir well and add more seasoning  if necessary. Finally, heat some olive oil on a frying pan, add the rest of the garlic then the greens and toss until they’ve wilted (if you’re using spinach this will take no time at all while things like cabbage and kale will take longer). Add the greens to the soup mix everything together and serve.

You’ve probably noticed that your cauliflower is an unusual colour (orange, purple or green). I know they look like some food colouring was added to their water but they are completely natural. I just thought it might be nice to try something different. Like all Cauliflowers these guys are especially high in vitamin C as well as lots of other good stuff. Cauliflower was supposed to be the star of a vegan curry with coconut milk and tofu but um, it just didn’t really work out. I mean it was ok but just not worth sharing – must try harder!! In the meantime, I suggest the following non-vegan idea of tossing it on the pan with lots of garlic, chilli , lemon juice and then topping with a little Parmesan. Vegans can leave out the Parmesan and it’s still yummy……….

Pan-fried Cauliflower florets with Chilli, Garlic and Parmesan

You’ll need:

1 Cauliflower

2 cloves garlic (minced)

a little minced red chilli

1 Lemon

Some freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and Pepper

Olive Oil

To prepare the cauliflower, remove the leaves and the stems then cut the cauliflower into tiny florets about the size of marbles (Dan’s going through a phase so they are everywhere I look in our house these days). Rinse in plenty of cold water, drain and set aside. Heat a generous dash of olive oil on the pan, add the chilli, cauliflower and a sprinkling of fine salt  then toss over a medium heat until the florets are golden brown which should take about 6-7 minutes adding the garlic in the last minute. Turn off the heat and squeeze the lemon over the cauliflower, mix well then add salt and pepper and finally the Parmesan. Give everything a good toss and serve.

Hope you enjoy these recipe,

Have a great weekend,


2 Responses to “A veggie stew for these cold days and funny cauliflower”

  1. Viv Cassidy Says:

    A warm and hearty thanks to Homeorganics…
    loved the funny cauli recipe…worked a treat 🙂

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