"Gold Rush 49ers" Vegetable Stew


Enlightening Entrees!

Serve with some crusty sourdough bread, or in a bread bowl!

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups sliced onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup carrot, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
1 cup celery, cut into 1-inch-thick slices
4 cups mushrooms, cut into quarters
3 medium potatoes, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 32 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cups cooked kidney beans (12 ounces)
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup red wine (OPTIONAL)

Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and mushrooms. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add small amounts of water, if necessary, to prevent sticking.  Add remaining ingredients, except flour, 1/4 cup water, and wine (if using). Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Stir occasionally while cooking.

In a small bowl, gradually stir flour into 1/4 cup water until smooth (making a “slurry”). Add to stew, along with wine. Cook, stirring, 5 more minutes. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.