Sunday, November 3, 2013

Manda-touille: A Harvest Vegetable Stew

Is it already November?! Well, many of you are probably bringing in the last harvest if you haven't already. Often a miscellaneous harvest can leave one wondering, "what can I make with this?" I had that dilemma earlier this year and decided to throw it all into a stew.

Let me introduce you to what my husband calls "Manda-toullie," since it has most of the same ingredients as my attempt with Ratatouille.
I often get into a gray area when it comes to harvesting squash, zucchini, bell peppers, and tomatoes. It's often too many for a week of recipes but not enough to can. That's especially the case with our tomatoes. So what better way to tackle this tasty problem than with a vegetable stew.
10 c tomato puree (just blanched tomatoes & pureed)
5 c quartered squash
1 c quartered zucchini
4 c diced bell pepper
3 garlic cloves minced
2 c chicken stock

Add the following spices to taste, the amounts are only an estimate:
1/4 teaspoon bay leaves
1 Tablespoon basil
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon chives
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon pepper

First get the pureed tomato in a pot and cook on medium heat. You'll want to cook down a lot of the water for a rich texture. You'll want to cook it down even more if you want to get rid of that raw tomato taste.

While that is cooking down, chop up you other veggies and saute with garlic in a separate pot.

Add chicken broth to the tomato puree and add the vegetables. Reduce some of the water then add spices to taste. Continue to stir and reduce until you hit that sweet spot in flavor.

There it is: a very simple, but flavorful stew that celebrates this year's harvest. Enjoy!