Seeing as we're heading into cooler months, with shorter days and longer nights, nothing is more comforting to me right now than a warm bowl of soup or stew to cozy up with.
I've been making variations of this stew for years now and I never tire of it. I change out the vegetables or beans for what's on hand, so it's an easy weeknight staple. Plus, it's relatively quick to cook and can be easily doubled if you have company or want to enjoy it for lunch throughout the rest of the week. I usually serve it with crusty bread, but sometimes cornbread or even grilled cheese.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 lb red or new potatoes, scrubbed and roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
3/4 lb carrots, roughly chopped
3/4 lb leeks, roughly chopped
8 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock
14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried thyme
2 cups black beans or 1 14-oz. can drained
Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, heat oil and sauté onion and garlic until soft and just beginning to brown. Stir in chili powder. Add potatoes, celery, carrots, leeks, and mushrooms and cook 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Stir in the stock, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle boil, stirring. Reduce heat and cook, covered, until vegetables are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Season as needed and serve hot.