French Gardener's Stew
Slowly simmered for hours to meld many garden flavors with a bouquet of herbs, French Gardener's Stew is a true labor of love.
1/2 cup dry white beans
15 cups water - divided use
1 onion, unpeeled
2 whole cloves
4 carrots, scrubbed, trimmed and sliced - divided use
1 1/2 teaspoons salt - divided use
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried thyme - divided use
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed dried rosemary - divided use
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper - divided use
2 turnips, peeled and diced
2 potatoes, scrubbed and diced
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 leek (white and light green parts), cleaned and sliced
1/4 cabbage head, shredded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Combine dry white beans and 5 cups water in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours; drain, leaving beans in pot. Stud onion with whole cloves; add cloved onion, 1 carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Cover with another 5 cups of water and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender. Drain, discarding whole cloves.
- Meanwhile, in another stockpot, combine turnips, potatoes, celery, remaining 3 carrots, leek, and cabbage in 1 cup water. Cook, covered, over low heat for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Add the drained bean mixture, the remaining 4 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon thyme, 1 teaspoon rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer covered for 30 minutes. Remove 4 cups of the vegetables and purée in a blender or food processor. Return to the pot and stir to mix well. Heat thoroughly.
- Serve garnished with parsley and Parmesan cheese.
Makes 8 servings.