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Artichoke Stew with Peas

This hearty vegan stew recipe is simply heavenly. Loaded with flavor, the artichokes, tomatoes, leeks and greens are perfectly complimented by the fresh taste of the basil. Served at any time of year, at any meal, this stew will please any palate.

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves fresh garlic, thinly sliced
1 small leek, split lengthwise, rinsed free of dirt, cut into 1-inch pieces
Sea salt
Generous pinch crushed red pepper flakes
Generous pinch crushed saffron
2 stalks celery, thin oblong slices
1 medium carrot, thin oblong slices
2 cups canned halved artichoke hearts (in water, not oil)
1 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup cooked cannellini beans
1/2 cup spring or filtered water
4-5 sprigs fresh basil, leaves removed, left whole
1 cup fresh, frozen peas
2-3 leaves steamed kale, finely shredded

Place oil, garlic and leek in a heavy sauce pan over medium heat. When the leeks begin to sizzle, add a pinch of salt, red pepper flakes and saffron and sautee until leeks are quite limp, about 2 minutes. Stir in celery, a pinch of salt and sautee for 1 minute. Stir in carrot, a pinch of salt and sautee for 1 minute. 

Stir in artichoke hearts, tomatoes, beans and add water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and cook until carrots are tender, 12-15 minutes. Add 2/3 teaspoon salt and cook for 5 minutes more. Stir in basil leaves and peas and cook for 1 minute. Arrange steamed kale on a platter and spoon stew in the center. Serve hot. 

Makes 4-5 servings.


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