I grew up in a home with a thriving, year-round vegetable garden. Its produce depended on the season, but you could find my parents pulling things out of the garden and adding them to a pot on the stove, all year long. So I learned early just how wonderful whole, fresh, healthy, and unprocessed ingredients can be.
Just about everything in this stew comes from the garden!
This stew is to vegetarians what a pot roast might be to those who eat meat. It’s full of rich, deep flavors; it’s incredibly hearty; it fills the whole house with wonderful aromas and it’s a true comfort food dish.
This stew is perfect on its own and is also wonderful over brown rice or a lovely piece of toasted, rustic bread.
Curried Vegetarian Comfort Stew
It’s full of rich, deep flavors; it’s incredibly hearty; it fills the whole house with wonderful aromas and it’s a true comfort food dish.
- Olive oil for the pan
- 1 cup thinly sliced brown onion
- 2 Tablespoons roughly chopped garlic roots removed
- 8 ounces thinly sliced crimini mushrooms
- 1/8 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup peeled carrots cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup parsnips cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup baby Dutch potatoes cut into bite-sized pieces
- 4 cups roughly chopped kale loosely packed
- 3 cups roughly chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1/2 teaspoon raw cane sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil, and place it over medium-high heat.
Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the onions are nicely browned, about 15 minutes.
Add about another tablespoon of olive oil and the mushrooms to the pot. Cook until they are beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. (Again, stirring every so often.)
Add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, turmeric, chile flakes, cumin, and fresh thyme, and stir to blend. Pour this mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
Add the carrots and parsnips to the pot, with enough olive oil to coat the bottom (if necessary). Cook just until the vegetables are beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Then add the potatoes and kale. Cook until the kale has completely wilted, about 5 minutes.
Return the mushroom-onion mixture to the pot, and then add the tomatoes and coconut water. Use a flat-edged wooden spatula to scrape off any bits of vegetables that are stuck to the bottom of the pot. Stir it right into the stew -- it's these wonderful caramelized flavors that help make this such a hearty stew.
Bring the stew to a boil and then turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 1 hour.
Season with the sugar and salt.
The bottom of the pot will likely brown quite a bit when you caramelize the onion, mushroom, and other vegetables. Please don't worry -- this is great! It's flavor! When you add the tomato and coconut water it will work its way into the stew.
About the Author
Valentina K. Wein is a recipe developer, food photographer and owner of the popular food blog, Cooking On The Weekends. Her focus is working with whole foods to create beautiful, comforting recipes for casual entertaining. Outside the worlds of food and photography, Valentina’s other passion is her family (including her two young boys, her husband and her dog, Maple.)
You can also keep up with Valentina’s recipes on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Ah, okay, I see it now. I think I just read the recipe wrong! Sorry. 🙂 Thanks for the clarification.
I’ve got the stew simmering now! Looking forward to trying it. A couple of quick recipe notes that you may want to adjust: it says to return the mushroom/onion mixture to the pot, but doesn’t say anywhere to take it out! So I didn’t realize that I should have until it was too late. Then also, it doesn’t say when to add the spice mixture. I just added it last. I don’t think either of these are a big deal, but might be helpful to clarify in the recipe. Thanks for sharing!
Hi Shereen – Actually, all of that is in Step #4. Did that not print for you?
I love a good veggie curry!
Made this stew this past weekend. It is soooo fantastic, and beautiful as well, that I will make it many more times to eat over the fall/winter. While there are a lot of ingredients and a lot of food prep, it is so worth the effort. Really! I dry-roasted some baby portobello mushrooms as garnish and cooked/shredded some chicken tenders for the bottom of the bowl. Oh my! So great I wish I could eat it more often every day. Oh yeah -the flavors intensify, and yummify, after a day or so in the fridge. I love eating this hearty bowl of food with the handmade corn tortillas (recipe posted earlier). Thank you for the excellent curry!
Jennifer — what a wonderful response to the stew! I’m thrilled that you loved it so much! Sounds perfect to add the chicken and mushrooms, too! 🙂
Trying to incorporate more vegetarian dishes into our repertoire. This looks wonderful and I’ll be trying it soon!
What’s a good substitute for coconut water? Coconut anything just doesn’t happen at my house.
Hi Brighid — You can use vegetable stock or broth, or tomato juice. Enjoy!
Thanks for mentioning tomato juice! It’s time to roast another pan of tomatoes for homemade sauce; I’ll use the leftover juice for stew. Yum!
I love reading curry recipes to see the spice blend. This looks like a winner Valentina!
Thank you, Sara! xo