Fall Kitchen Sink Stew
3 small onions, or 1 large one (about 1 1/2 cups)
6 cloves garlic
Generous dash sage (about 2 tsp)
Slightly less generous dash thyme (about 1 1/2 tsp)
Cayenne pepper, to taste
32 ounces vegetable broth
4 to 6 cups water
2 small bunches, or one large bunch of carrots (about 1 cup)
2 small bell peppers, pick your colors (I used one red and one green--about 3/4 cup)
3 small winter squashes, or one large butternut or two medium acorn (about 2 1/2 cups)
2 ears corn
1 cup lentils
1 cup wild rice or wild rice blend (not instant)
Olive oil to saute
About 1/4 cup white wine for deglazing (or veggie broth/water)
1) Chop and peel the veggies. Smash the garlic cloves with whatever heavy implement you have lying around. The prep may take less time or more time than my estimate, depending on how sharp your knives are and how good you are at prepping squash. Preheat a large soup pot with some olive oil and toss in the onions, saute on medium-high until almost translucent, then throw in the smashed garlic cloves and mash them around with your spoon, breaking them up. Saute until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant and throw in the peppers, sage and thyme. Saute until the peppers are bright and softened, then deglaze the pan with the white wine and turn heat up to high. Toss in the corn, squash, carrots, rice, lentils and vegetable broth. Add enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until the lentils and rice are tender. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed. Eat and enjoy, or throw it in the fridge and let it rest overnight; the flavor is better second day. It does thicken though, so you may want to add more liquid.
*Added bonus: save your veggie scraps (peels, tops skins etc.) I had enough leftover to make vegetable stock when I was done.
Source of recipe: I made this recipe for the first time yesterday. It's fall, so I'd resolved to cook something with squash, and it was perfect stew weather. I went to the local co-op and looked to their produce selection for inspiration, picking out local, in-season ingredients. I also wanted to use a bean for the protein, so I picked lentils since they don't have to soak. This would probably also be yummy with black beans though. The wild rice I added as almost an afterthought, because I love the flavors of squash and wild rice together.