Midterm Survival Stew

Culture Food | Drink

It’s that time of year again, when the crisp fall air makes you want to wear cosy grandpa sweaters and snuggle under warm quilts, and has you visualizing steaming mugs of tea. It’s also the time of midterms and colds, and if you’re like me you live in fear of a combination of those two. In hopes of defending myself from the sniffles and also to lower my workload while cramming for midterms and writing papers, I decided in a fleeting Sunday moment of free time to make stew.

The best thing about stew is that it can be made with basically anything you currently have in your fridge, which gets rid of those questionably wilted veggies and keeps the price relatively low—that being if you have things in your fridge, which unfortunately I didn’t. So off to Thrifty Foods I went, coming home with lentils, canned tomatoes, barley, and various other odds and ends that I had picked up in a hunger-fuelled rampage. I began to create a recipe as my boyfriend looked on in fear of what I was creating. But you know what? It was delicious, so I thought I’d share it.

And now the recipe!

  • One small zucchini, chopped
  • One large white onion, diced
  • One large sweet potato, diced
  • Four cloves of garlic, minced (this is killing the germs, ladies and gentlemen)
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • Three carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • ½ cup yellow split peas
  • 1 cup of pearl barley
  • Two bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1½  tsp chopped ginger root (ginger powder works too if you don’t have the fresh stuff)
  • 1½ tsp curry powder of your desired spice level
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1½ tsp paprika
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp of garlic powder
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 4½ cups of vegetable broth (you may need more)

In a large-ish pot, heat the olive oil on low and sauté the ginger, onions, and garlic for around five minutes.

Stir in the spices and bay leaves, and, after letting those flavours meld for a minute or two, add the zucchini, kale, sweet potato, and carrots (as well as any other yummy veggies you think would do nicely. I think red or yellow peppers could work well).

Add vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, lentils, split peas, and barley. Up the heat to medium, and add broth, stirring, adding, and reducing heat as necessary.

Cook for around 30 minutes or until lentils, split peas, and barley soften. Then serve with a slice of fresh bread if you’re feeling ambitious or a slice of buttered toast if you’re not.

This stew is quite filling and makes large enough portions that it should keep one person fed and warm for at least a couple days. So sustain yourself, stay healthy, and keep on truckin’. The end is in sight.