Spring Vegetable Stew Recipe with Chicken Broth

A Chicken Foot Broth adds flavor to this Spring Vegetable Stew recipe.

| February 2014

  • “The Nourished Kitchen” by Jennifer McCruther touts the value of animal foods in the diet, and challenges the common assertion that a plant-based diet is the best approach to health and sustainability.
    Cover courtesy Ten Speed Press
  • You can use fresh or frozen produce in this Spring Vegetable Stew recipe, but don't forget the chicken broth for a hearty taste!
    Photo by Jennifer McGruther

The Nourished Kitchen (Ten Speed Press, 2014) celebrates the traditions of homemade cooking—techniques that have been forgotten in modern times. Jennifer McGruther is a food educator and advocate for farm fresh foods, and she has become a respected authority on farm-to-table cooking. Featuring 175 recipes for traditional, wholesome foods, this book will take you back to the basics of American cooking. Excerpted from “From the Garden”, this Spring Vegetable Stew recipe is a perfect fresh-tasting course to drive away memories of the cold winter.

After a long winter of heavy dishes—meats, potatoes, root vegetables, and breads—I look forward to the clean and vibrant abundance of spring. I make this Spring Vegetable Stew with the many firsts that spring brings: the first leeks, beans, peas, and artichokes. They stew together in Chicken Foot Broth, which offers up its delicate but still rich flavor as a companion to the vegetables. At the end, I toss in fresh basil, parsley, and mint, which brighten the stew a bit more with their clean and faintly floral notes. Lemon juice and zest add a punch of sourness that further complements the flavors of the stew.

If you do not have fresh lima beans, peas, and artichoke hearts, you can prepare this soup from frozen vegetables—as I often do in autumn and winter if I’ve had the forethought to preserve a little of the spring harvest. Keep in mind, however, that if you do make this stew from frozen vegetables, it will not need to cook as long as it does when using fresh ingredients, and can be finished in about 20 minutes start to finish.

Spring Vegetable Stew Recipe with Chicken Broth

• 1 tablespoon lard
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to serve
• 1 large leek, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
• Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
• 3 carrots, peeled and diced
• 4 cups Chicken Foot Broth (see below)
• 2 cups lima beans
• 1 pound English peas, shelled (1 cup)
• 1 cup baby artichoke hearts, halved
• Finely ground unrefined sea salt
• 1/4 cup torn fresh basil
• 1/4 cup torn fresh mint
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Warm the lard and olive oil in a heavy stockpot over medium heat. When the lard melts, stir in the leek and lemon zest and fry until they release their perfume and the leek softens, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in the carrots and fry, stirring from time to time, until crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes.

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