The first snow of the season for the Northeast fell today!! Social media was blowing up with photos, video, and varying levels of dismay. In this house, we stayed by the fire with the cats and only my husband poked his nose out to get the newspaper. It put me in the mood for comfort food, which whispered “stew” in my ear.
Last night, cleaning out the pantry, I had put some dried fava beans to soak. I had to build my stew around that. So I dug into the cupboards, fridge, and freezer and came up with this.
- 2/3 c. Dried fava beans, rinsed, soaked and cooked until “fluffy” appearing
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2 carrots, sliced
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 2 cups vegetable broth (see Robin’s method)
- 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 3 large cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, 6″ each
- 1 sprig sage with about 10 leaves on it
- 1 chunk of dry (like crystallized) Parmesan
- 2 cups multigrain bread cubes, toasted
- 1 Tbsp fresh Parmesan per serving
Sauté the onions, celery, carrots, and pepper until soft but not browned. Add the fava beans, vegetable broth, and tomatoes. Toss in the garlic and herbs. Lastly, see that old block of Parmesan you never used? It’s so hard now that you need a chisel to get into it? Well, throw it in the stew!! It is just the ticket to add the depth of flavor you need. Ok, you aren’t like me and leave old dried up cheese in your fridge? Then buy some good quality aged Parmesan, with the rind and slice off the rind with another 1/2 inch or so of cheese and use that. (But it’s so much more fun to rescue “past due” food!)
When you are getting ready to serve, ladle into ovenproof bowls, top with toasted bread cubes and a tablespoon of shredded parm. Place under the broiler to melt the cheese. Now, you are in for a treat! Who needs meat?