orange stew

It is fall.  I know this because it’s been raining for what, like, two weeks, and the heat in my apartment magically turned on and I just keep listening to Nina Simone.  So, yeah, fall is here.  I have to embrace it or else I will just whine about how much I love summer and that is annoying.  Plus, I love cooking fall meals, not only because I get to use cast iron and heat, but also because they’re delicious and hearty and generally awesome.

I moved out of Kensington, which is hard, and sad, but I still work Sundays at Good Egg, which lately has meant that I buy one cookbook a week (except last week, when I bought two) and spend the day dreaming about delicious food.  So much so that I got home on Monday and made this stew from Diana Henry’s beautiful book Plenty with Katie.  This book is gorgeous and covered in post-its right now because I am just that lame.

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The problem with stew is that it’s kind of not too photogenic, and the lighting in my kitchen isn’t great and it’s fall, so natural light isn’t doing what I need it to, so there is a picture of this stew that is not the best.

  • olive oil
  • 15 new potatoes, halved
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, cut into strips
  • 5 tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 pinches of saffron (thanks, Jen, for all the saffron!)
  • 1 strip of orange zest
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • salt and pepper

Heat the oil and sauté the potatoes, onions and leeks until the potatoes are browned a bit.  To be fair, I didn’t really want to wait that long because I was hungry, but if you can, it would probably be best.  Add the garlic and chili flakes and sauté for about a minute, then add in the soup stock.  Bring to a boil, then add the saffron, orange zest, thyme, salt and pepper and let everything simmer for about ten minutes.  Once the potatoes are basically cooked, add in the fennel and tomatoes, and cook for another ten minutes.

Diana Henry serves this with a rouille, but I don’t really love rouille so I just ate it as is.  The orange is surprising potent, and saffron really does make everything better.  I am into this stew, which is good because it made about a dozen servings.  Please call me if you want to come over for stew.

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