Have you ever heard of tempeh?
I hadn’t until just a couple weeks ago. It’s a kind of savory, fermented soybean cake with a slightly nutty taste.
Tempeh is also very dense and holds its shape well — even better than the firmest of extra firm tofu, which means that you can dredge it in flour and season it with salt, and then brown it on either side for extra flavour!
Not only is tempeh is super healthy, but it also does a good job of also taking on the taste and aroma of whatever else you cook it with.
Move over, tofu — I want tempeh!
I’m going to finish off my November “Soup Month” with a stew, since stew is definitely in the soup family: liquid with good stuff floating in it!
The trick to a good stew, however, is a broth that’s richer, thicker, and more oily than a soup broth. You should also allow your stew time to simmer for an hour or two. This gives stew more richness and heartiness than soup.
Now, normally stew is made with meat — particularly red meats — but tempeh is a great substitute! If you can’t find tempeh, or don’t want to use tempeh, I’d recommend using chicken instead (especially since this is what the original recipe calls for).
Either way, this chunky stew is bursting with veggies, damned good for you, and it tastes even better the day after you make it!
Tempeh Veggie Stew
*adapted from allrecipes.com
- 1 block of tempeh, cut into bite-size cubes
- all-purpose flour, for coating tempeh
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
- 3 gloves garlic, minced
- 1 large potato, cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup beer (lager or light ale)
- 3 cups veggie stock
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- salt and pepper, to taste
You’ll need at least a few hours to defrost your spinach and tempeh before you start this stew. Chopped frozen spinach is easy to thaw out with warm running water and a colander, but the tempeh definitely needs some time to thaw (unless you’re using a microwave) — just a heads up.
Cut your tempeh and coat it in flour. Chop your onion, cube your tater, mince your garlic, dice your parsely, get everything together.
In a large pot over medium heat, saute your chopped onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil until translucent. Add in your garlic and tempeh and 2 more tablespoons of olive oil, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tempeh is nicely browned.
Stir in the turmeric and paprika and cook for a minute more.
Next, add your beer, veggie stock, spinach, parsley, potato, and tomato paste. Cover the pot, turn down the heat, and let simmer and reduce for at least an hour (but two hours is better).
Once you’re just about ready to serve your stew, add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, stir, and simmer the stew for another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
So, this is just a of mine theory, but I definitely think stew was developed with days like this in mind…