Loaded tempeh stew turns simmered tempeh, lentils, kidney beans, onions, carrots, potatoes and fava (broad) beans into a thick, full-bodied stew. This stew delivers a distinctive flavor combination from tarragon and caraway seeds. Dinner’s on!
Layers of mouthfeel
Loaded tempeh stew is well, loaded and I’m not talking about the optional ½ cup of red wine. When you combine the different textures of tempeh, vegetables, lentils, kidney and fava) beans you get variety in every bite. The flavor combination of tarragon and caraway will peak your taste bud interest while the thickness of the sauce will leave you full and satisfied.
Prepare and execute
The term mise en place refers to the practice of preparing all your ingredients before you begin cooking anything. It’s really important when you are going sauté and then deglaze the pan as we do for loaded tempeh stew. Tt’s also vital in getting all your ingredients evenly cooked. With loaded tempeh stew, I started by getting my tempeh ready, prepping the veggies and then mincing the garlic and measuring out the spices. Next, I rinsed the lentils, measured out the wine and broth and opened the tomato sauce. I didn’t worry too much about the kidney or fava (broad) beans because they go in later. Let the execution begin.
The right tempo (tempeh) for the song (stew)
If you’ve never tried tempeh, you should. If you are relying on packaged veggie ‘meats’, now’s the time to make a switch. Tempeh is less expensive, but more importantly, you get control over what is and isn’t in your food. When I first cooked tempeh, I was less than excited at the result. Then I discovered a loosely held secret – you need to simmer tempeh before you cook with it. Tempeh happily relinquishes its bitter taste when you do this, and happy tempeh becomes softer and invites other flavors to hang out.
The concept of mise en place has relieved my cooking stress and transformed it to a time of peace and joy. I realize that we can’t always be prepared for what life throws at us. If, however, we can take proactive steps toward our knowns, then perhaps our reactions to the unknowns won’t topple us of our paths. I’m not denying that chance favors the prepared mind. However, being proactive clears a path for us to recognize the chance worth the chase rather than being stuck in the battle of reaction. Peace.Print
Loaded tempeh stew is with lentils and kidney beans is a thick, full-bodied stew with a distinctive flavor from tarragon and caraway seeds. It’s plant-based, oil and guilt-free.
- 8 oz. tempeh
- 6–8 cups vegetable broth
- 1 large onion diced (2 cups)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp. tarragon
- 1 tsp. caraway seeds
- ½ cup red wine (or vegetable broth)
- 1 – 15 oz. can tomato sauce (2 cups)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (or water)
- 1 ½ cups carrots diced
- 4 cups petite potatoes with skins on (or diced potatoes)
- 2 cups French lentils, rinsed
- 1– 15 oz. can red kidney beans
- 1 cup frozen or canned fava (broad) beans (or green peas)
- Break (crumble) the tempeh into bite-sized pieces.
- Place the tempeh in a pan and cover it with vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.
- While the tempeh simmers, preheat a large soup pot and sauté the onions until they start to brown (about 8 minutes). You’ll want to stir them constantly, so they don’t stick and be mindful of the heat. We’re not using oil here.
- Add the garlic, tarragon and caraway seeds and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Deglaze the pot by adding the red wine.
- Add the tomato sauce, 4 cups vegetable broth, carrots, potatoes and lentils. Bring the pot to a boil, reduce to medium and simmer for about 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the lentils are cooked.
- Your tempeh is done right about now, so take if off the heat and drain.
- Once the lentils potatoes and lentils are cooked through, add the tempeh, kidney beans and fava beans. Stir and heat everything through (about 10 minutes for frozen fava beans).
- Add salt or pepper if desired.
- Preparation, execution complete – now let’s eat!
I’ve found that it’s easier to crumble tempeh if you slice it in pieces first.
If you’re not a fava (broad) bean fan, substitute lima beans or peas in this recipe.
If you want a stronger tarragon or caraway taste, add either to the simmer broth for the tempeh.
Loaded tempeh stew is even more flavorful the next day, so make it ahead or look forward to tomorrow’s leftovers.
- Category: Main courses
- Cuisine: Plant-based
Keywords: loaded tempeh stew