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THE CONFIDENT COOK

Recipe: Simmer a vegetarian fall stew with lots of roots, chickpeas, and porcini

Fall Vegetable Stew.Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 6

A warming bowl of tender, flavorful root vegetables will satisfy everyone at your table. When you want to add extra flavor to a vegetarian dish, dried mushrooms are your secret weapon. In this stew, reconstituted porcini add a pleasant chewy texture, and their soaking liquid gives the broth some heft and richness. For the rest of the broth, use homemade vegetable stock, or simply add water; the stew gets tons of flavor from all the vegetables. Big chunks of cremini, butternut, turnip, rutabaga, and celery root go into the pot, along with cipollini onions, chickpeas, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika) and a pinch of cayenne add a little smoke and heat, while white balsamic vinegar gives the colorful vegetables subtle sweetness and acidity. This is a versatile stew. Swap out any vegetables you don't love for those you do and serve it over cooked barley or brown rice for a hearty accompaniment. It's filling and wonderfully comforting.

1ounce whole dried porcini mushrooms
cups boiling water
2tablespoons olive oil
8ounces small cipollini onions
8ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
1teaspoon pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)
teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1pound peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups)
1small (8 ounces) turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1small (12 ounces) rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1small (12 ounces) celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
1can (15 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
½cup white wine
3cups vegetable stock or water
Salt, to taste
1tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
3cups cooked barley or brown rice (for serving)

1. In a small bowl, soak the porcini mushrooms in the boiling water for 30 minutes (prep the vegetables while they soak). Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and drain the mushrooms; reserve the soaking liquid. Quarter the mushrooms.

2. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and cremini mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Add the garlic, pimenton (smoked paprika), and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the squash, turnip, rutabaga, celery root, chickpeas, tomatoes, white wine, porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid, vegetable stock or water, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and set on the cover askew. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

4. Stir in the vinegar. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt or cayenne pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with parsley. Ladle into shallow bowls and serve with barley or brown rice.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 6

A warming bowl of tender, flavorful root vegetables will satisfy everyone at your table. When you want to add extra flavor to a vegetarian dish, dried mushrooms are your secret weapon. In this stew, reconstituted porcini add a pleasant chewy texture, and their soaking liquid gives the broth some heft and richness. For the rest of the broth, use homemade vegetable stock, or simply add water; the stew gets tons of flavor from all the vegetables. Big chunks of cremini, butternut, turnip, rutabaga, and celery root go into the pot, along with cipollini onions, chickpeas, and fire-roasted tomatoes. Pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika) and a pinch of cayenne add a little smoke and heat, while white balsamic vinegar gives the colorful vegetables subtle sweetness and acidity. This is a versatile stew. Swap out any vegetables you don't love for those you do and serve it over cooked barley or brown rice for a hearty accompaniment. It's filling and wonderfully comforting.

1ounce whole dried porcini mushrooms
cups boiling water
2tablespoons olive oil
8ounces small cipollini onions
8ounces cremini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered
3cloves garlic, finely chopped
1teaspoon pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika)
teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1pound peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes (4 cups)
1small (8 ounces) turnip, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1small (12 ounces) rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1small (12 ounces) celery root, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
1can (15 ounces) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
½cup white wine
3cups vegetable stock or water
Salt, to taste
1tablespoon white balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar
2tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (for garnish)
3cups cooked barley or brown rice (for serving)

1. In a small bowl, soak the porcini mushrooms in the boiling water for 30 minutes (prep the vegetables while they soak). Set a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and drain the mushrooms; reserve the soaking liquid. Quarter the mushrooms.

2. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the onions and cremini mushrooms and cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until they are lightly browned. Add the garlic, pimenton (smoked paprika), and cayenne. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

3. Add the squash, turnip, rutabaga, celery root, chickpeas, tomatoes, white wine, porcini mushrooms and their soaking liquid, vegetable stock or water, and a generous pinch of salt. Bring the liquid to a boil, lower the heat, and set on the cover askew. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

4. Stir in the vinegar. Taste for seasoning. Add more salt or cayenne pepper, if you like. Sprinkle with parsley. Ladle into shallow bowls and serve with barley or brown rice.Sally Pasley Vargas