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Spanish Vegetable Stew

No recipe image available.This light stew (menestra de verduras) has many regional variations, and it can be made with different vegetables according to season. Constant ingredients include potatoes, carrots, and green peas; artichokes are the most characteristic. Artichokes, peas, asparagus, and parsley make this a very springlike stew. Make sure to enjoy the wonderful aroma. Serve with a crusty bread and the colorful salad.

Recipe Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 ounces white or crimini mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
12 stalks slender asparagus, bottoms trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
15-ounce can imported artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1 cup frozen green peas (you can use fresh once they're in season)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro
Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cooking Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
  2. Add the potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, 2 cups water, and paprika. Bring to a simmer, then simmer gently, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are tender. Add the asparagus and cook over low heat until tender-crisp, about 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in the artichoke hearts, peas, and parsley. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over low heat for 5 minutes longer. If time allows, let the stew stand for an hour or so before serving. Heat gently as needed; taste and correct the seasonings and add just a bit more water if needed.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe provided courtesy of Nava Atlas; www.vegkitchen.com.