The start of the beautiful New England fall season began with a twilight river walk accompanied by my little beagle, Ellie. This savory stew was also part of the picture. A smoky stew that makes the cooler evenings more inviting.
- 2 medium to large onions, chopped
- 1 large head of cauliflower, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, your choice of color. I used a red and green one. Slice them in half and remove seeds.
- 3 small to medium zucchini, chopped
- 3 baking potatoes, chopped
- 1 15-16 ounce can of chickpeas, cannellini beans or white beans rinsed and drained
- 1 26.46 ounce box of Pomi Chopped Tomatoes or one 28 ounce can of quality chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
- Olive oil for cooking
- Good drizzle of honey or pinches of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes
- 3 teaspoons of smoked paprika
- 3 teaspoons of dried oregano
- A tiny pinch of saffron, 6 threads (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Garbanzo bean flour mixed with cold water to thicken the stew (see notes)
- 4-5 cups of cold water
- To Serve: rice, crusty bread, drizzle of good olive oil, quinoa, toasted slivered almonds, chopped parsley or basil, shaved or grated Manchego cheese
Place the sliced peppers, cut side down, on an oven safe baking sheet lined with tinfoil and broil them on high until their skins are charred and blackened. Remove from the oven, place peppers in a covered bowl or wrap in tin foil to steam. Once cool enough to handle, peel the skin and discard. Chop them and set aside. Meanwhile, saute onions in a large pot. I use a Dutch Oven, and cook the onions with olive oil, salt and pepper until soft. Once the onions have softened, add the chopped cauliflower, zucchini, chickpeas, potatoes, tomatoes, honey, spices and 4-5 cups of water. The water should just cover the vegetables with some peeking out. Adjust the salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the chopped roasted peppers, reduce the heat and simmer for about 35-40 minutes or until the vegetables and potatoes are soft. Mash some of the cooked potatoes in the pot with a back of a spoon. Stir in the garbanzo bean and water mixture. Start with 4 teaspoons of garbanzo bean flour mixed with 4 teaspoons of cold water and stir into the stew. Add more of this mixture if you want it thicker. Toss in the frozen peas and stir again. Serve with suggestions and enjoy!