Hearty Vegetable Stew

This recipe was so flavourful for a vegetable stew. My husband thought next time I should throw in some chicken. I guess you could, but the vegetables alone make a nice filling meal. The portobello mushrooms add a nice meaty flavour. It is necessary to remove the gills on the underside of each portobello cap, as the flavour and color of the stew will turn muddy. This recipe was taken from Cook’s Illustrated – The Best Light Recipe.





2 medium onions, minced
1 medium celery rib, minced
1 medium carrot, peeled and minced, plus 4 large carrots (about 1 pound), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch lengths
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt
9 medium portobello mushrooms (about 1 1/4 pounds), stems discarded, gills removed, caps halved and then sliced 1/2 inch thick
10 ounces white mushrooms, wiped clean, stems trimmed and mushrooms halved
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 1/2 to 2 cups water
1 (14.5 ounce)can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Ground black pepper


1. Combine the onions, celery, carrot, oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large Dutch oven.  cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes.
2.  Add the portobello and white mushrooms.  Increase the heat to medium-high and cook until all the liquid they release has evaporated, about 10 minutes.  Stir in the garlic, rosemary, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits; cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 2 minutes.
3.  Add the broth, 1 1/2 cups of the water, tomatoes with their juices, bay leaves, and potatoes.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; partially cover, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the stew is thickened and flavorful, about 1 hour.  If the stew seems too thick, add the remaining 1/2 cup water. 
4.  Off the heat, stir in the peas; cover let stand until the peas are hot, about 4 minutes.  Stir in the parsley and vinegar, and discard the bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately. 

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