Harvest Stew

I’ve always loved a good hearty stew and now that Autumn is officially here and the evenings are getting colder, it’s the best time to use some of those harvested vegetables (if you’re lucky enough to have a plot to grow your own) or source some organically grown produce and boil up a big pot of seasonal goodness.

Alternatively, making a stew is a great way of using up any veg that you have you your chiller, you can quite literally put in anything you like.

I generally like to throw in around 5-7 different types of veg in although today I’ve just come back form the farmers market so I’ve out done myself this time with if you include the barley 10!

Here’s my basic recipe anyway with the veg I used today, feel free to chop and change.

It’s impossible to make a small stew once all the different ingredients have been added so if I’m eating alone, after I’ve eaten, I generally divide the leftovers in to three tubs, pop one in the fridge for the following day and freeze the other two for lazy days, or should I say lazier days because the actual recipe is so simple, you literally just throw everything in the pot!

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1/2 cup of pearl barley

2 small onions, peeled and halved

1 medium peeled and potato quartered

1/2 cup of peas 

1/2 cup of broad beans fresh if you can or frozen if not

1 stick of celery, sliced in to cm thick chunks

1 carrot, peeled and sliced in to cm thick chunks

1 small leek, sliced in to cm thick rings

1 turnip, peeled and cubed

4 cauliflower florets

4 cloves

2 bay leaves

2 tsps dried thyme (I love the flavour the thyme gives the stew)

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp vegan bouillon

1 tsp yeast extract (vegemite)

1 cup red wine

2 tbsps plain flour

Salt

Pepper

Water

Method

Put all vegetables and barley in a pan.

Pour in wine.

Add water until the level just covers all the veg.

Bring to boiling.

Add bouillon.

Stir in yeast extract.

Add bay leaves, cloves, paprika, thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in flour to thicken.

Turn heat down and simmer with lid on  the pan for 45 minutes.

Serve. (remove bay leaves and cloves)

Leek & Asparagus Soup

Serves 2

Ingredients

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 small leek, sliced in to rings

125g pack of asparagus tips

1 potato, quartered

1 knob of dairy free butter or spread

2 cups of dairy free milk (I used soya)

1 tsp of vegan stock or bouillon

Pepper 

Water

Method

In a pan, steam the onion and garlic in a little water with the lid on for about 5 minutes.

Add the potato,  leek and most of the asparagus, leaving just a few tips out for garnish.

Pour in the milk and add the dairy free butter, vegan stock and pepper to taste.

The liquid should just cover the contents of the pan, if it doesn’t, top up with a little water.

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Bring to boil and then turn heat down and simmer with the lid on for about 20 minutes or until the potato is cooked.

Remove from heat and let cool before blending.

Reheat to serve with grilled asparagus garnish

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Uniquorn, Leek & Cider Pie

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Serves 4

Ingredients

1 clove of garlic, chopped

1 red onion, chopped

2 leeks, sliced

280g of Quorn vegan chicken style pieces

500ml of vegan cider (check barnivore.com if you don’t know which brands are vegan)

1 tsp of dried thyme

1 tsp of vegetable bouillon

1 tsp of wholegrain mustard (being from Norwich, it’s always got to be Colman’s for me)

Salt

Pepper

1 tbsp of vegan butter

1 tbsp of flour

1 roll of ready rolled puff pastry (I used Sainsbury’s own)

1 tbsp of dairy free milk.

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C

Melt the butter in a saucepan.

Add the flour and stir to make a roux.

Remove from heat and stir in some of the cider until the roux melts and there are no lumps.

Return to heat and gradually add the cider while stirring until you have a nice thick cider sauce.

Take off heat when the sauce is ready. 

In another pan, fry the onion and garlic for around 5 minutes until they start to cook.

Add the leeks and saute for another 5 minutes.

Stir the cider sauce in to the leeks.

Add the bouillon, mustard and thyme and salt and pepper to taste.

Stir in the Quorn chicken style pieces.

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Pour the mixture in to a pie dish.

Cover with ready roll pastry, cutting around the edge of the dish but leaving a slight overlap.

Using some of the left over pastry and a cookie cutter, you can make some shapes to add the the top of the pie, I used a unicorn cutter, hence the uniquorn pie.

Brush the top of the pie with a little dairy free milk (I used oat)

Put in the over for 45 minutes. 

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Serve (with mash)