In Which I Dice with Death


Work continues stressful. I toyed with booking a massage to try and unkink the muscle knots in my back and neck, although the poor masseuse might have more luck with a hammer and chisel than with, say, lavender oil.

But in the meantime here’s a classic bit of veggie cooking, and a great clearer of odds-and-ends; the vegetable and bean stew. Perfect summer-fare (when a fine June day in the UK has consisted of heavy rain and lashing winds, and guess who forgot her nice warm fleece this morning?).


All the vegetables below need to be finely chopped.
3 cloves garlic
2/3rds a large white onion
1 medium potato
1 courgette
1 third of a somewhat elderly large carrot
Decent handful mange tout
1 small, also somewhat elderly leek
4 chestnut mushrooms
Tin kidney beans, drained
Olive oil
Cumin, turmeric, paprika, ginger
Soy sauce
Coconut milk or creamed coconut
Vegetable stock, hot
Tin of tomatoes
Tomato puree

Heat olive oil in a wok, and gently fry the onion, garlic, carrot, ginger and paprika for a few minutes.
Before the onion and garlic start to brown, and the potatoes. Fry again for a few minutes more.
Add the courgette, mange tout, leek and mushrooms, plus cumin and turmeric. Mix well.
Add the tomatoes and puree.
Cook for a few minutes more, then add the kidney beans, salt, pepper and soy sauce.
Pour into a casserole dish or crock pot, and pour over the hot stock, then mix in the coconut.
Put the lid on, and cook in the oven at 180 degrees for one hour. Take out half way through and stir.
Serve with rice or couscous.


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