This is a nice, hearty stew that tastes good over rice, couscous, quinoa, barley, pretty much anything! It does take some time to make, but it’s totally worth it. Also, you can make part of it the day before (Steps 1 and 2) so that it’s less work the day you want t serve it. I served it over multi-colored rice with different textures, mainly because I was in the mood to make rice look fancy… =)
Ingredients1 leek, chopped into big pieces 5 carrots, chopped into big pieces 1 head garlic, all cloves peeled 2 red bell peppers, chopped into big pieces 1 lb tomatoes, chopped into big pieces 1 medium fennel bulb, chopped into big pieces 2 large onions, chopped into big pieces olive oil spray and salt (to sprinkle) 16 cups water 6 sundried tomato halves 1/4 cup parsley 1 tsp dried thyme 1 large bay leaf 1 tsp salt 1/2 stick butter 1/3 cup all purpose flour 2 potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch cubes fennel fronds, chopped fine 8 oz baby spinach 2 scallions
1. Put the leek, carrots, garlic, red bell peppers, tomatoes, fennel bulb, onions in a 9×13 baking tray or broiling pan. Spray lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss. Broil on the top rack of the oven for 15-20 min, stirring every 5 mins. The veggies are done when they just start to turn black.
2. Bring the water to a boil in a large pot. Add the roasted veggies, sundried tomatoes, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaf, and salt. Turn the heat down, cover, and simmer for 2 hours. After 2 hours, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool. Once cool, remove the bay leaves, and blend the mix.
3. In a large pot, heat the butter over medium high heat. Add the flour and stir continuously for 2-3 mins until the flour being to turn light brown. Add the sauce from step 2 a little at a time while mixing continuously so that it does not get lumpy.
4. Bring this to a boil and add the potatoes, spinach, and fennel fronds. Boil for 10 mins until potaotes are just done.
5. Serve hot, topped with scallions.