Curried Vegetarian Comfort Stew

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.

4.41 from 5 votes

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.

Course Entree
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 40 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Calories 174 kcal
Author Valentina K. Wein


  • 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


  1. Coat the bottom of a large pot with olive oil, and place it over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring every couple of minutes, until the onions are nicely browned, about 15 minutes.
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Bring the stew to a boil and then turn the heat to low, cover the pot, and simmer for 1 hour.
  8. Season with the sugar and salt.

Recipe Notes

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, InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

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Colette @ JFF!
October 5, 2012 12:35 pm

This looks so delicious, it got my Indian friend’s attention. “Reeeeally? Please send me the link!” she said.

Kaye Kittrell
October 5, 2012 12:29 pm

I cannot wait to try this when I get over this cold. I need some comfort!

Jeanne @JollyTomato
October 5, 2012 10:47 am

Cannot WAIT to try this! This is one of the main reasons I am excited about the weather getting a little bit cooler – I’m a sucker for comfort food. I can already tell this will be one of my go-to recipes! : )

Stacy Spensley
October 5, 2012 9:44 am

You had me at mushrooms. Now if only we had some good soup weather…

October 5, 2012 8:56 am

This looks delicious! Thanks for a great recipe!

Charul @ Tadka Masala
October 5, 2012 8:21 am

This is soooo yumm! I am a vegetarian and these stews are a inseparable part of our family meals. You said it right, hearty and comfort food. 🙂

October 5, 2012 8:17 am

4 stars
Can you provide the nutrition data on this recipe?

October 5, 2012 7:57 am

This looks awesome. I am gonna try and change it slightly to be a slow cooker recipe!

Arina George
October 5, 2012 6:57 am

3 stars
Wow ! the recipe looks delicious. Thanks for sharing this easy-looking recipe. I MIGHT try it sometime soon.