Roasted Vegetable Stew with Bacon
November 5, 2011: We recently made Mark Bittman's Roasted Butternut Chowder which we found on the web (can no longer find the link). I liked it a lot. Charlie liked it ok, but wasn't crazy about it. We decided to modify the recipe to use more traditional roasted vegetables. It turned out great. This is what we did (below). Because of the white wine, it tastes a lot like onion soup, but better because of all the chunky vegetables and bacon. Delicious. And easy to make.If you want a vegetarian or less meaty version, it probably would taste good with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and without the bacon or with less bacon. As Mark Bittman has said a little bacon goes a long way.And thanks to Mark Bittman who is teaching us how to cook some really good stuff.The recipe below will easily serve 8. You can cut it in half and still serve 4 and have some left over. (We made it big because we wanted to have a lot left over.)
- 3 or 4 pounds coarsely cut up vegetables that can be roasted such as carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, red peppers, squash, green beans
- 2 to 4 fresh tomatoes cut into bite-size or a little larger (tomatoes are optional but add to the flavor of the broth) (if you don't have fresh tomatoes, add a few tablespoons of tomato paste to the broth)
- 1 large onion or 2 small onions or leeks, thinly sliced so they separate into rings
- 4 T minced garlic (this about 1 medium head garlic)
- 12 oz. bacon slices, cut into 1 inch squares (look for nitrate-free bacon; turkey bacon is probably fine)
- salt and pepper
- a few tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tsp dried sage
- 1 cup dry white wine (we used Trader Joe's 3 buck chuck Pinot Grigio)
- 4 or more cups chicken broth
- grated romano or parmesan cheese (probably any kind of cheese will do)
- toasty bread (optional)
- Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Grease a deep roasting pan with oil.
- Put the bacon in the roasting pan and put it into the oven and let it cook for 3 or 4 minutes.
- Put the vegetables into the roasting pan and stir into the bacon and bacon fat. (If you are using broccoli or onions, leeks or garlic, don’t add those for another 20 minutes or so. They cook a lot faster than, say, carrots and cauliflour.)
- Stir in some olive oil if needed so that everything is lightly coated with oil. (May not need much if there is a lot of bacon fat.)
- Roast, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned; takes 45 to 60 minutes. (Of course, be careful not to taste it till the bacon is done.)
- Remove the pan from the oven. (Above photo shows the vegetables at this stage.)
- You can stop here if you want and just serve as roasted vegetables (yum), or, to make stew continue to next step.
- Transfer the contents of the pan to a large pot and put on medium heat. Be sure to get all the scrapings from the pan. (If your pan can be used on the stovetop, you won’t need to transfer.)
- Stir in the sage and white wine and broth and (optional) tomato paste.
- Cook until the vegetables break apart a little and the broth is well flavored, 10 to 25 minutes.
- Taste and add salt/pepper if desired.
- Serve with romano or parmesan cheese and (optional) toast.