The traditional foods movement is a fad-free approach to cooking and eating that emphasizes nutrient-dense food, and values quality, environment and community over the convenience of processed products. The Nourished Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2014), by Jennifer McGruther, not only teaches how to prepare wholesome foods, but also encourages a celebration of old-world culinary traditions that have sustained healthy people for millennia. The following Spring Vegetable Stew Recipe comes from chapter 1, “From the Garden.”
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After a long winter of heavy dishes — meats, potatoes, root vegetables, and breads — I look forward to the clean and vibrant abundance of spring. I make this Spring Vegetable Stew Recipe with the many firsts that spring brings: the first leeks, beans, peas, and artichokes. They stew together in Chicken Feet Broth, which offers up its delicate but still rich flavor as a companion to the vegetables. At the end, I toss in fresh basil, parsley, and mint, which brighten the stew a bit more with their clean and faintly floral notes. Lemon juice and zest add a punch of sourness that further complements the flavors of the stew.
If you do not have fresh lima beans, peas, and artichoke hearts, you can prepare this soup from frozen vegetables — as I often do in autumn and winter if I’ve had the forethought to preserve a little of the spring harvest. Keep in mind, however, that if you do make this stew from frozen vegetables, it will not need to cook as long as it does when using fresh ingredients, and can be finished in about 20 minutes start to finish.
Spring Vegetable Stew Recipe
• 1 tablespoon lard
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
• 1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
• Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 3 carrots, peeled and diced
• 4 cups Chicken Feet Broth
• 2 cups lima beans
• 1 pound English peas, shelled (1 cup)
• 1 cup baby artichoke hearts, halved
• Finely ground unrefined sea salt
• 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
• 1/4 cup torn fresh mint
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Warm the lard and olive oil in a heavy stockpot over medium heat.
2. When the lard melts, stir in the leek and lemon zest and fry until they release their perfume and the leek softens, about 4 minutes.
3. Stir in the carrots and fry, stirring from time to time, until crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Stir in the broth, lima beans, peas, and artichoke hearts. Cover and simmer until the vegetables become tender, about 30 minutes.
5. Season to your liking with salt, stir in the herbs and lemon juice, and serve.
Want more from The Nourished Kitchen? Read A Traditional Foods Movement: The Balance of Healthy Eating.
Reprinted with permission from The Nourished Kitchen written and photographed by Jennifer McGruther (Ten Speed Press, © 2014). Purchase this book from our store: The Nourished Kitchen.