Vegetable Stew

My family loves soups and stews because they are easy to make, require minimum cleanup and we can make tons of it at a time. My Vegetable Stew is my dad’s favorite and he requests it several times throughout the year. He is really cute! He works weekends all over the country and packs food for the weekend because he is a vegetarian and the options at hospitals are limited. I am always excited to make this for my dad and it makes me smile when he tells my mom that she should get this recipe from me. Isn’t that the main reason why we love to cook? To feed our loved ones and show them how much we truly care. It is so rewarding to see his smile.Vegetable Stew

Makes 6 large servings

Ingredients
Soak 1/2lb beans and lentils overnight in water with ½ tablespoon of salt
4 tablespoons oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
6 tomatoes, diced or 1 can of diced tomatoes
4 sun dried tomatoes, diced (omit if desired)
1.5 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
3 bay leaves
½ tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of dried basil
½ tablespoon salt
¼ tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups vegetable broth

Garnish/Toppings (feel free to omit or use a combination of the following)
Sour Cream
Chopped Onions or green onions
Cheddar Cheese

Directions
Allow the beans to soak overnight, rinse thoroughly and the beans that are floating at the top should be discarded.

In a large soup pan, sauté the onions, garlic, bell peppers, celery and carrots on medium heat until they are soft and translucent.

Add the seasonings and cook for an additional minute.

Add the beans and tomatoes and mix thoroughly.

Add the vegetable broth to the mixture and allow it to come to a boil then turn the heat down to low and cook for 60 minutes. Add additional broth if desired.

Serve with any or all of the suggested toppings.

TIP: I pre-soak bean, shake off the excess water and freeze them for up to three weeks. This allows me to make dinners in a hurry without having to use canned beans.

 

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