Let's get this out of the way. It's getting colder, and we're all preparing for the onslaught of pumpkin spice, stews and soups, knitting projects and the countdown to Christmas. You might think this blog would be different, but you'd be wrong. I am going to wax lyrical about my love of the colder weather too.
I like crunchy leaves and big scarves. Roaring fires are cool too. Yay for weather as long as it's not raining.
Us food bloggers like to look on the bright side when the seasons change. Sure it's cold outside, and it's getting dark earlier, and everyone is sick, tired and grumpy...
But look at all the cool food we can make now.
We're dusting off our slow cookers, hauling big pumpkins out of the market (even if we don't quite get the hype about them) and using the rainy freezing days as an excuse to make big pies and mugs of hot chocolate.
Just don't mention that we're getting a little pudgy and we'll all be cool.
The only downside that none of us can avoid, is the damn winter cold. I'm surrounded by snotty zombies everywhere I go, and we all know there is only two ways to avoid becoming one yourself.
Option one: Lock yourself in your house until summer. Or go outside in a hazard suit. Or sell your soul to be one of those annoying people that never get colds and brag about it as others lie dying in a pool of their own snot.
Option two: Eat up a buttload of veggies. Like this fantastical easy-to-make stew that's full of vitamins and good stuff like that.
I call it THE COLD WARRIOR, because it does a banging job of fighting the bugs off, and because that sounds way cooler to offer to people than "A nice pot of healthy stew".
If you're into this kinda thing - It's also filling and healthy. Perfect to counteract all those hot chocolates, slices of pie and, let's be honest here, stupidly early discount boxes of christmas biscuits.
Packed full of flavours and really easy to make, armour up your immune system with this badass. The fresh herbs are well worth the effort when it comes to flavour.
Depending on your portion size - this can make between 4-6 servings :)
YOU WILL NEED.
1 can of chopped tomato
2 tablespoons concentrated tomato puree
3 cloves garlic - crushed
1 small can of kidney beans
150g green lentils
150g red lentils
1 red onion
1 white onion
3 tablespoons garden peas
2 tablespoons broad beans
4 tablespoons sweetcorn
Handful of kale, chopped small
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
1 pint of vegetable stock
few springs of fresh parsley
5-6 leaves of fresh basil (sub for 1/2 teaspoon dried if need be)
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
few sprigs of fresh thyme (leaves removed from the stalk)
about 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh chives
Splash of olive oil
FIRST OF ALL
Grab yourself a stock pot, splash in your olive oil and chopped garlic and onions. Lightly fry them until browned.
EASY STEWING PEASY
Now here's the hard bit. In the stock pot add the kidney beans, garden peas, broad beans, sweet corn, kale, herbs and spices. Add the vinegar and give it a mix around. Finally Add the can of chopped tomatoes, lentils, quinoa and stock.
MIX IT UP
Give it a good stir, things should be bobbling around in there, if it isn't add a little bit of boiling water, as the lentils and quinoa will soak up quite a bit of the stock. Keep some water by the side in case of emergency during cooking. You will have to use your judgement, you don't want it to be too runny, but you don't want a hash!
CHECK YO STEW
Keep your stew stewing on a medium heat for about an hour. Keep checking on it, giving it stir making sure it's not drying up, and if by chance it's looking a little dry, just add some more water and let it stew.
After all the lentils are cooked up, and your stew is looking nice and thick and bubbly, it's time to serve. Beware, as it will be really bloody hot. Top off your stew with a bit of chopped parsley, mostly to be fancy but also because that stuff is good for you.
Can't beat a good stew.
Here's to winter!
What are your thoughts on winter? Love it? Hate it? Wish you could wrap yourself in a scarf from head to toe? Comment below! :)