Warming Vegetable Stew
Stews are a brilliant way of combining pulses and beans with vegetables to provide a real nutrient boost for children. Pulses and beans are a great source of vegetable protein and make a nice alternative, or in fact addition, to meat dishes adding wonderful texture and flavour. Pulses and beans are also rich in fibre which is important for digestive health, as well as valuable vitamins and minerals including iron which is a key nutrient to support energy levels. Sweet potato and carrots are rich in beta-carotene to help support the immune system.
You can adapt this recipe to include other seasonal root vegetables or pulses, and try adding different spice combinations for variety. Cumin and warming cinnamon, for example, will give the stew a more Moroccan flavour.
Stews also freeze well so it is always worth making extra and freezing portions for other days when comfort food is required. This is also delicious served with a baked sweet or white potato and steamed garlicky broccoli.
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped/pasted
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 carrots, chopped
2 celery sticks, chopped
2 parsnips, chopped
1 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 small tin butter beans
1 small tin kidney beans
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
500ml chicken stock (use veg stock if vegetarian)
A few sprigs thyme
Coconut oil or butter for sweating
Place a tablespoon of coconut oil (or butter) into a large saucepan (with a fitted lid) and on a medium to low heat warm through and melt.
Next, add your onions and allow to cook through and soften gently. This will take about 5-10 minutes.
Then add your carrots and celery and cook and soften for a further 5 minutes.
Next, add the parsnips and cook for a few minutes, and then add the garlic. Cook the garlic out for no more than a minute before adding in the tomato puree and smoked paprika and then the chicken stock, chopped tomatoes and sprigs of thyme. Bring up to a boil and then down to a simmer.
Place the lid on the saucepan and cook all the vegetables for 10-15 minutes on a gentle simmer until cooked through. Take the lid off and add in the kidney and butter beans and cook everything together for another 10-15 minutes. You want to reduce liquid down so its not watery and becomes a more stew-like consistency. Taste and season to your liking.
Remove the sprigs of thyme before serving.