Virtuous Veggie Curry with Veggie Sauce

Anyone out there feeling like they need to repent a bit from a Halloween weekend binge? I’ve got just the thing for you. This was adapted from Nigella Lawson’s “How to Eat” (an absolute must-have, in my opinion), which in turn had been adapted by Nigella from Sue Kreitzman’s “Low Fat Vegetarian” cookbook (now out of print) and I’ve adapted it further here. It really is the perfect thing for when you’ve been overindulging a bit, and feels wonderfully nourishing on top of being pretty darned tasty. With the exception of some spices and the stock, this is ALL VEGETABLES: the sauce itself is pureed from a portion of the mixture. 100% delicious veggie action.

Be warned – yes, this does take a bit of prep. I personally don’t mind, as I enjoy chopping vegetables (I mean, I like cooking period, so long as I don’t have a moody toddler trying to hang on me the whole time).  Just be prepared to set some time aside, throw on some good tunes, and dig in. SO worth it!

VIRTUOUS VEGGIE CURRY

2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon each cumin, coriander and paprika
1/2 teaspoon each allspice, cardamom and ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
4 cups vegetable broth plus 2 cups water
3 red bell peppers, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
3 stalks celery, chopped
8 ounces crimini mushrooms (a.k.a. baby bella), halved
2 turnips, diced
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 large parsnip, chopped
1 bulb fennel, trimmed and diced
1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste at the end)
juice and zest of 1 lemon
3 zucchini, sliced into half-moons
8 ounces green beans

Combine onion, garlic, spices, and 3 cups of the broth  in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil and cover to cook for 5 minutes. Add in peppers, carrots, celery and mushrooms. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, for another 6-8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Cool just a bit.

Puree half the mixture in a blender, ideally, or a food processor (I’m a fan of immersion blenders for hot stuff in many cases, but this wouldn’t work as well here; just make sure to hold the top of the blender on firmly, using a towel to be safe).

Return to the pot. Add turnips, cauliflower, parsnip and fennel, stirring to combine well, and pour in the rest of the vegetable broth and the water – this should be just enough to ALMOST cover the vegetables. Add salt and bring back to a boil.

Reduce heat, cover, and cook at a low simmer for 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and zest, zucchini and green beans. Simmer all together uncovered for another 10 minutes, making sure all the vegetables are tender but never soggy. It makes a HUGE batch, and I recommend dividing whatever’s left into a few individual portions and popping them in the freezer for future bouts of delicious culinary penitence.

— posted by Anne

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