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Hearty Ten Vegetable Stew with Barley

A friend was recently telling me she shared Annie, her favorite childhood movie, with her daughter and watched her fall in love.  Hearing her tell the story reminded me that this is one of the things I love most about being a mom – sharing childhood favorites with my kids and being a part of their delight. This happened when I suggested to my daughter that we make one of my favorite dishes growing up, chicken and dumplings. Sylvie was intrigued by the name alone. We made the soup and she was was hooked just like I was as a kid, so much so that she asks for ‘vegetable soup with chicken and dumplings’ daily. We make it very frequently and I decided to branch out and search for a new favorite hearty soup recipe.  I took out the The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook [1] and began perusing the soups and stews. Something about the hearty ten vegetable stew caught my eye and when I listed the ingredients to Sylvie she was in awe of all these exotic vegetables she had never heard of.

All of a sudden I was getting bombarded with questions, ‘what is swiss chard? Is it like cheese?’. Off to the store we went to introduce her to this new range of vegetables. Based on personal preference and availability at the store, we swapped out celery root, mushrooms and red bell pepper for one of my favorite grains, barley. We brought it all home and examined our loot. Sylvie loved the look of swiss chard, dark green with bright red stem and veins and was fascinated that parsnips look like white carrots!  Now we share a new favorite in the soup department that I hope Sylvie one day passes on to her own family.

Ten Vegetable Stew
adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook [1]

1 tablespoon canola oil
8 ounces swiss chard, stems and leave separated, stems chopped fine and leaves cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large onion minced
1 celery rib cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 carrot peeled and halved lengthwise, and slice 1 inch thick
6 garlic cloved minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1/2 cup of dry white wine
3 cups vegetable broth
2 1/2 cups water
2 medium red potatoes cut into 1 inch pieces
3 parsnips peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
(8 ounces celery root, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces – the store was out of this, but I will add next time)
2 bay leaves

3/4 cup uncooked barley, rinsed
1 zucchini seeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Heat oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add chard stems, onions, celery, carrot, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until vegetable are well browned, 7-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and tomato paste and cook until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine, scraping up and browned bits, and simmer until nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in broth, water, potatoes, parsnips, celery root, and bay leaves and bring to simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and cook for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the barley and continue to cook for another 30 minutes or until barley is done and stew is thickened and vegetables are tender. Stir in zucchini and chard leaves and continue to simmer until tender, 5-10 minutes. Discard bay leaves and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

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[1] The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1933615567?ie=UTF8&tag=mookd-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1933615567

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