So here we are…Fall has fallen, so to speak, and October is upon us! (What happened to September??? I don’t have my Fall banner up yet!)
I love Fall, actually, and especially October. I was born in October (today is my birthday, as a matter of fact), and I love the crispness in the air, the changing colors of the leaves and the deep blue of the autumnal sky. And while I do miss all of the summer vegetables, there’s a lot to be said for this season’s variety of fruits and veggies, too.
Even though we still have 80 degree temps this week, here’s a very fall-ish dish for those cooler nights. This roasted vegetable and kale stew is filled to the brim with hearty veggies and earthy greens. Potatoes, carrots, green beans and squash are roasted first to concentrate and caramelize their flavors. Tender leeks are sautéed with a bit of fresh garlic, salt and pepper. Then a little chicken broth (or vegetable broth or all water) is added to the pot along with some tomatoes, herbs, the roasted veggies and fresh kale. Cook until the flavors blend and you have Fall in a bowl! And as with most soups and stews, it gets better each day after you make it, and freezes well.
Fall is also a great time to be outdoors and about. There are festivals and shindigs galore to explore in autumn. You know I’ve been hiking every weekend, and we have long since completed the Top Ten Atlanta Hikes and moved on to other hikes, walks and adventures. Here’s a little slideshow of the last few weeks since I posted, to catch you up.
Meanwhile, here’s the recipe and I hope you enjoy this healthy and hearty stew. Cheers and Happy October everyone!
Roasted Vegetable and Kale Stew
Makes 8-10 Servings
2 Large Idaho potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1 inch cubes
3 large carrots (I used rainbow for color), peeled and sliced 1/4 inch on the diagonal
3/4 lb. green snap beans, trimmed and snapped into bite sized pieces
2 medium zucchini or other squash, cut into 1 inch cubes
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon each of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large leeks, washed well, trimmed and diced, white and light green parts only
6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil
a pinch of kosher salt and two grinds of black pepper
1 28-oz. can of whole, peeled tomatoes and their juice, low sodium
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 1/4 cups water
2 bunches (about 3/4 lb.) fresh lacinato kale, stems removed and leaves chopped into 2-3 inch pieces
1/4 cup packed shredded fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf Italian parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
additional salt and pepper to taste if needed
Line a cookie sheet with tin foil and grease well with olive oil or cooking spray. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Spread the potatoes evenly on the cookie sheet, toss with 2 Tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and roast for 15-20 minutes. After 20 minutes, stir the potatoes, then add the green beans, carrots and zucchini that has been tossed in the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and pepper and roast for another 15 minutes. Stir well and roast for about another 10 minutes or until the vegetables are all tender and have a little color. Remove them from the heat.
While the veggies are roasting, heat the 1 1/2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a large, heavy stock pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Turn the heat to medium low and add the garlic and stir for another 2 minutes or until the leeks are cooked through and just beginning to color. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the stock and the water, and stir well. Add the roasted vegetables and any juices to the pot and stir, then bring the stew to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and add in the kale, basil, parsley, tarragon and nutmeg. Stir well and allow the stew to cook for about 10 to 15 minutes over low heat. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more salt and pepper if needed. Serve garnished with a little fresh parsley if desired. I love this with cheddar corn muffins!