Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Signs of the Season

1. Spring Thaw

The ice and snow have finally melted, revealing renewed growth and beautiful landscapes. We live in close proximity to an expansive natural reserve, and while the leaves still have some time before their arrival, it is a wondrous place to explore. I love to watch the kids run wild and free, acting out great adventures.

2. Spring Songs

Ben Harper and Vanessa da Mata - Boa Sorte
Norah Jones - Somewhere Over the Rainbow
The Beatles - Here Comes the Sun
Jack Johnson - Breakdown
Stevie Wonder - You Are the Sunshine of My Life

3. Transitional Flavors

Vegetable Stew is perfect for warm and chilly days, and it reheats well for an easy dinner.
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 large carrots, sliced
1 stalk celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced

1 cup red wine
1 - 24 oz. can whole tomatoes

4 cups vegetable broth, or other cooking liquid 
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme, minced

1 cup kidney beans, cooked or canned and drained
1 cup frozen corn
salt & pepper to taste

In a stock pot, heat your oil over medium heat and then toss in your onions and sweat them until they are transparent, about 2-3 minutes, and then season them with a pinch of salt. Add in the carrots and celery and let them soften for 2-3 minutes, and then add in the garlic and cook together for another 2-3 minutes, making sure to stir and season appropriately.

Add in the wine (it's going to get a little steamy) and let it cook off for about a minute, while making sure to stir. I like the break my tomatoes apart into pieces (sized to fit on a spoon) as I am putting them into the pot, and then I let this meld together for a minute. Add in your broth, bay leaf and thyme, and then let this cook on low heat for about 20-30 minutes. Throw in the beans, corn and the final touch of salt and pepper, and then continue to cook for another 10 minutes to bring all of the flavors together.

To make it a little heartier, you can add in grated cheese. Parmesean or sharp cheddar work well, each highlighting unique qualities of the stew.

1 comment:

Just Ma said...

Isn't the change of season just magical? Know all of you are glad to be out and about after such a harsh winter. Enjoy---and thanks for the blog (and pics).
Love, Ma