30 November 2012

Cold Weather Root Vegetable Stew

Turnips, parsnips, carrots, butternut squash, sweet potatoes.

We've had a cold snap here in New England, so it's time for a warming trend in the kitchen.

Root vegetable Stew
Serves 8

1 medium (2-3 lbs) butternut squash, peeled
1 medium celeriac (celery root), peeled
4 medium turnips, peeled
2 sweet potatoes, peeled
5 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped
5 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
4 medium onions, chopped
3 Tbs olive oil
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
2 sprigs fresh sage (1Tb dried)
2 sprigs fresh thyme (1Tb dried)
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Cut the butternut squash into  ¾” pieces.  Cut the turnips into ½” pieces.  Peel and cut the celeriac into ½” pieces. Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into ¾” pieces.  Directions to cut different vegetables into different sizes may seem fussy, but butternut squash and sweet potatoes cook more quickly than the other vegetables, so need to be in larger pieces to avoid turning into mush.

In a large pot, heat the oil and cook the onions over medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until they soften. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

Add the canned tomatoes, juice and all, and stir in the butternut squash, turnips, celeriac, sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, sage, thyme, salt and pepper.

Pour in the broth.  Add sufficient water to cover the vegetables, if necessary.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, set the cover on slightly askew and simmer the vegetables gently, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes or until they are tender.

Taste for seasoning and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Remove the sage and thyme if using fresh. Ladle the stew into large bowls and serve with crusty bread.

Note: we sometimes add two turkey sausages, sliced and browned, in with the veggies. Use sweet sausage or hot, or a combination. 

Adapted from a recipe by Lisa Zwirn, The Boston Globe.