As winter approaches and the chilly weather takes hold, it's time to start thinking about comfort food. One of the most comforting dishes of all is the classic stew. Hearty stews are the perfect way to keep warm and cozy during the coldest months of the year.
A classic stew is full of flavor and nutrition, with plenty of vegetables and a flavorful broth. The key to making a good stew is to take your time. Slow-cooking the stew will allow the flavors to meld together and create a delicious, nutritious meal.
To get started on your own hearty stew, you'll need a few basic ingredients. Start with a base of onions, garlic, celery and carrots, and then add any other vegetables of your choice. You can also add potatoes or other root vegetables. Once you've gathered your vegetables, it's time to add a base of broth. This can be vegetable, chicken or beef broth, depending on your preference.
Once the vegetables and broth are added, the stew is ready for the finishing touches. Herbs and spices can be added for flavor and depth. Dried herbs work well, but fresh herbs are even better. Basil, oregano and thyme are all good choices for a flavorful stew.
Next, it's time to let it simmer. Cover the pot and let the stew cook on low heat for several hours. You can also cook the stew in a slow cooker for an even more hands-off approach. Let the stew cook for at least two hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
When the stew is finished cooking, it's time to enjoy it. Spoon the steaming stew into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt, if desired. Serve with a crusty piece of bread or a side of rice.
Hearty stews are the ultimate comfort food. With a few simple ingredients and a few hours of cooking, you can whip up a delicious and nutritious meal that will warm you up on even the coldest winter days.