Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vegetable Stew with Savory Biscuit Topping

The cool fall weather has triggered something in my brain so I can only think about soups, stews, and chowders. I love this time of year with the crisp, cool air, the beautiful colours of the leaves, and fall produce like pumpkins and squash. Although I know it means that many months of cold and snow are coming, I still love autumn. This dish marries together a modification of my biscuit recipe with a modification of my Creamy Kale and Potato Stew. Result: maximum deliciousness.

Serves 6-8
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 leeks, chopped (not dark green tops)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 kale leaves, tough stems removed, chopped
- 2 lbs Yukon Gold Potatoes, cubed
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 cup frozen mixed vegetables
- 5 cups of water
- 1/2 cup chicken-style broth powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup plain soy milk

Biscuit Topping
- 2 cups flour
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp rubbed sage
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening
- 3/4 cup soy milk
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1. Make the Stew: heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add leeks and garlic and saute for 5 mins, until leeks are soft. Add chopped kale and potatoes and cook for 2-3 mins, until it softens a little and turns bright green.
2. Add chickpeas, mixed vegetables, water, broth powder, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to bubbling, lower heat, and simmer uncovered for 15-20 mins, until potatoes are cooked.
3. While stew is cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
4. Make the biscuit topping: mix soy milk and vinegar and set aside to thicken. Sift flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl. Stir in nutritional yeast and spices. Mix in shortening with your fingers until it resembles coarse bread crumbs. Add in soy milk mixture with a fork, then gently knead into a dough. Set aside.
5. Finish stew: mix flour into soy milk (I put them both in a container with a snug fitting lid and shake to blend) and add to pot. Bring to a bubbling so stew will thicken. Adjust seasonings to taste.
6. Pour stew into a large oven-safe dish (I use a 10" x 15" Corning ware dish). On a lightly floured surface, roll out biscuit dough into a shape that will fit your dish. Keep in mind it will double in size when baked, so don't worry if it looks too thin. Place dough on top of stew.
7. Bake for 15 mins, until biscuit topping is cooked and golden.