This is one of those really useful stews where you could chuck in a whole host of leftovers and have something tasty and healthy on the table in half an hour. Some leeks would have been nice, a few pieces of red pepper, a tin of beans to make it more filling – or to make a whole meal out of it. But here’s my version with what I had in this week.
It’s a glorified ratatouille really (here’s another really quick variation), something I always start thinking about at this time of year, when the sun starts shining and I start picking up big green bunches of basil at the shops to fill the kitchen with a mediterraneanesque scent. Along with the not-so-Mediterranean bluebells from the garden, which are also brightening up my window sill. Do use fresh herbs if you have them – they really make a difference. I’ve had a few pots on the patio over the winter that have come to no harm, and now they’re flourishing and adding bundles of flavour to our cooking.
Hope you enjoy!
Veg Box Stew
(serves 4 with some omelette, beans, bread etc to go alongside)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, sliced
splash olive oil
2 large carrots, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, roughly chopped
1 tin chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
a handful of fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried)
a couple of sprigs of rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
a handful of fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
2 large courgettes, roughly chopped
1 large handful finely chopped basil
1. Fry the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in the olive oil for about 10 minutes.
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree and herbs and cook for 20 minutes. Add a little water if it starts to stick.
3. While the stew is cooking, fry off the courgettes in some olive oil until they’re brown. (Keeping them separate keeps their flavour separate so it’s not all a big mush at the end).
4. Add the courgettes and basil to the stew for the last few minutes, then serve.
I’m adding this to Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes’ Meat Free Mondays – have a look at the other ideas here.