comfort food

This is a vegan version of old-fashioned beef stew.  Since I don’t like fake meat substitutes, the mushrooms take the place of the meat.  It’s not really a summery dish, but sometimes I just need comfort food.

2-3 T olive oil

1/4 c flour

1 lb mushrooms, thickly sliced

3.5 c hot water

1.5 t salt, divided

2 bay leaves

3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

2 stalks celery including leaves, sliced

1 green pepper, diced

1 leek, washed and thinly sliced

Heat the olive oil gently in a Dutch oven.  Add the flour, lower the heat, and stir to make a roux.  The roux doesn’t have to get very dark as it would in a gumbo.

Add the mushrooms to the roux, raise the heat to medium, and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Add the hot water, 1/2 t salt, and the bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 2-3 hours.

Add the remaining ingredients, return to a boil, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are tender (anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour; the timing will depend on how large the pieces are.  I like a rustic stew with big chunks, but you could also dice all of the vegetables to the same size.  If you do that I’d recommend also dicing the mushrooms as well instead of slicing.)

I like to eat this with fresh-baked bread, but it’s also good on its own or over noodles.

I am in need of some comfort today, but alas I won’t have time to make this.


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