This satisfying, chunky stew is a breeze to make since you can use canned beans and tomatoes. This dish is perfect for cozy dinners or easy, filling lunches for work.
1 cup water (for sautéing)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 ribs celery, diced
8 button or crimini mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon chili powder of your choice
3 cups water
3 cups diced tomatoes (see Notes)
2 cups cooked brown rice
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 15-oz. cans, drained and rinsed)
1 large russet or Yukon Gold potato, with skin on or off, cut into small cubes
2 teaspoons fresh, minced oregano or ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro or basil
1. In a soup pot that is heated to medium-high, add onions and sauté them without water for a minute or two, keeping them moving with a wooden spoon (this draws out the natural sugars). Browning is fine but add a tablespoon of water now and then to avoid sticking and burning. Add the minced garlic and continue to sauté in the same manner for one minute.
2. Add to the pot: the celery, mushrooms, and herbs and spices (cumin, coriander, chili powder), and about ¼ cup of water, which will make the mixture more saucy. Sauté for another 2 minutes.
3. Add the 3 cups water, tomatoes, brown rice, beans, and potato. Cook at a low-medium boil for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally. Add in the fresh herb of your choice, and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. Optional: garnish with fresh oregano (shown above) or some chopped cilantro or basil.
Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes (not counting cooking rice)
Makes: 8 cups or 4 bowls
Potatoes: You could also use yams in place of the white potatoes; or half and half. You could even cube some squash instead.
Beans: Any kind of beans could be used in place of the black, such as kidney and pinto, or a mix. See below for suggestions of brands.
Rice: Similarly, any type of rice can be used here. I like short-grain brown. To cook short-grain brown rice, place 1 cup of dry rice into a pot with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Cooked covered for 50 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes still covered before serving.
Tomatoes: See the photo below, as there are many types of packaged tomatoes you can use. Or you can use fresh as well. For this recipe use 2 cans of diced tomatoes, or 1 jar (of the Eden brand), or the whole box of the Pomi brand.
Sauteing alternative: If you want to skip the step of sauteing the onion and other vegetables first, you can also just put everything into your soup pot at once and cook it until the potatoes are tender. I like sauteing because it intensifies the flavors, especially with onion and mushrooms.
Spices and herbs: I don’t favor overly hot and spicy flavors in my meals, but if you do, this would be a good one to add more chili powder and/or other favorite chili or Mexican food herbs/spices to. I like “ancho” chili powder since it’s mild.
These are two brands of pre-cooked black beans that I like, both organic and salt-free. Eden doesn’t use BPA in their cans of beans, a toxic substance typically used as a preservative in aluminum can linings. And the Whole Foods 365 brand has moved to using aseptic square containers for some of their beans to avoid BPA concerns.
Here are four types of tomato products that I use. My favorite is the Eden crushed tomatoes in the jar; it’s organic and salt-free, and has a smooth, sweet taste (I’ve only found this at Whole Foods and healthy groceries). Pomi brand has a similar taste and contains only tomatoes (no salt); it is not organic. The Muir Glen and 365 brands are organic and salt-free, and I like them too, but they have a little of that “from a can” taste to them, but it’s not objectionable. The Pomi and Eden packages contain about twice as much as a can of diced tomatoes. Some are crushed, some are diced, some are chopped; it doesn’t matter which you use in this recipe.
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