bean & tempeh stew with veggies

I basically spent a whole day making this stew, and it was totally worth it. I used my crock pot, but it’s not like those recipes that get posted on facebook where you just throw a few things in the pot, go to work and come home to dinner. I kinda had to work for this one.

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Carrots. Three big ones. Peeled and chopped.

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Saute them in lots of olive oil with 1 chopped onion, two chopped cloves of garlic, black pepper to taste, and a pinch of salt. They don’t need to cook all the way through, this is just to give them, and the olive oil they’re cooking in, a little more flavor.

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Meanwhile, I rehydrated about 1 cup of dried mushrooms in two cups of hot water.

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In a crock pot, add beans (I started with 1 C of dried beans, then quick-soaked them. If you don’t mind waiting about an hour or two longer, you can skip the soaking altogether), mushrooms & mushroom stock, onions and carrots.

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Add another 3 cups of water. Cover and let the crock pot do it’s thing in high. This is gonna take a while. While you’re waiting…

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Put one can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans in the food processor with three cloves of garlic (or to taste).

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Puree. Set aside until the beans in the crock pot are done.

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My beans were done after about 6 hours. The onions were clear and thin and kind of disappearing – that’s okay, you could taste them in the broth. The broth needed a little spicing up, though, with additional salt and pepper.

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Then I added the pureed beans. If you’re going to let this cook a while longer, you could add more onions here.

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I stirred the beans in, hoping the soup would get nice and thick…but it did not. So Plan B.

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I put 1/2 C teff flour in a bowl and stirred in just enough broth to get it to a gravy-like consistency, then I added it to the soup. That did the trick. Meanwhile…….

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I can’t remember the last time I had tempeh.

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Cut it into bite-size chunks. I read it can be a little bitter, so…

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steam it for about 20 minutes. Apparently the longer you steam it, the less bitter it will be.

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Throw it in the stew.

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I ate mine with the crusty bread I made the other night.

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There’s a lot going on in here, it’s very filling. But I have to admit, tempeh is not my favorite. It still seemed bitter to me, even after steaming. Maybe it’s better to steam it, then brown it in oil, then throw it in the stew. I’ll have to experiment.

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Overall, the flavor is really simple but wonderful when you eat it fresh. This makes quite a bit, so I’ve eaten leftover a few times already. It’s not bad leftover, but definitely not the same. This would be perfect a group of friends to eat on a chilly night…much like the nights coming soon to Michigan!!!

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