This is a heartwarming Vegetable Tomato Basil Stew that is perfect for those soup-eating days. This hearty stew starts out with fresh tomatoes that are reduced into a flavorful stock. Then the chunky potatoes and carrots are added. The leek and celery accentuate the flavors and bring a lovely brightness to the stew. The basil and roasted red bell peppers add to the overall of this classic vegan tomato stew. Serve it with some nice crusty bread or focaccia.
One day, Robby asked me if I would make a vegetable stew. I’m normally not a huge fan of stews and I tend to want to make dishes that excite me, but because I am not a fan, I thought I would rise to the challenge. I am happy I did, I really love how this stew turned out. I also discovered how tasty it can be when you put it under the broiler topped with gruyere cheese.
This is basically an Italian style stew with the tomato and basil. Stews and soups are so versatile, get creative and use whatever veggies you like and make it your own!
This hearty stew goes great with a nice red wine like a Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Red Rioja or Pinot Noir. For whites, I would serve either a Sauvignon Blanc, White Rioja or a Rueda.
Vegetable Tomato Basil Stew Recipe:
8 – 10 Servings
- 5 Large Tomatoes – blanch tomatoes remove skin and puree then set aside
- 2 Pounds Yukon Potatoes – cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 Leek (about 2 1/2 Cups) – cut in half and sliced
- 5 Carrots – thinly sliced
- 3 Stalks Celery (about 1 Cup) – sliced lengthwise into 3 pieces, then thinly slice (into small piece)
- 1 Red Onion – diced
- 5 Cloves Garlic – minced
- 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Unsalted Vegetable Bouillon Cube
- 1/3 Cup Red Wine
- 4 Cups Filtered Water
- 2 Teaspoons Sherry Vinegar
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme – pull leaves off stems
- 1 Tablespoon Paprika
- 1 Tablespoon + 2 Teaspoon Sea Salt or to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
- 1 Cup Fresh Basil – minced + extra for garnish – chiffonade
- Gruyere Cheese (optional)
Cut the tomatoes in half and grate the cut sides on a cheese grater into a bowl. Discard the skins. Set aside
Dice potatoes and set aside in a bowl covered with water.
You want to wash the leek really well. There is always dirt on the inside. Watch this how-to video if you have never cooked with leeks before. Slice and set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the bay leaf, garlic, onions, celery, carrots and olive oil.
Cook for about 8 minutes or when onions are soft then add leeks, stir and cook for a couple more minutes then.
Add bouillon cubes and wine, mash bouillon into the wine. Reduce the wine until syrupy.
Add the water and potatoes. Cook until carrots are fairly soft. (about 15 minutes)
Add tomato puree, vinegar and spices (not basil).
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer, covered for 20 – 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Stir occasionally while cooking, add basil at the end, remove and discard bay leaf.
Garnish with basil.
Option: Shred gruyere cheese on top and put under the broiler for a minute or two until it becomes bubbly and golden.
Yellow Potatoes – Yukon gold’s content of potassium is higher than many foods and can help reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. They have twice the amount of vitamin C as a Russet, which helps protects your cells from free-radical damage. Yukon’s are rich in B6 and antioxidant properties. It has a bit of Iron but the C helps the body absorb it. They contain fiber that helps reduces cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar, helps prevent constipation and aids in weight loss.
Tomatoes are great for the heart due to the extreme antioxidant support, niacin, folate and vitamin B6 that help the reduction of heart disease. They are also high in vitamins A, C, K and potassium. The choline in tomatoes helps assist the absorption of fat and reduces chronic inflammation. It also helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Tomatoes are high in Lycopene the antioxidant that gives tomatoes their red color. Cooking tomatoes break down the cell walls, which helps to release the lycopene and is better absorbed by the body with a little bit of fat like olive oil. The Zea-xanthin in them helps to filter harmful ultra-violet rays, which protect eyes from “age-related macular disease.” They are also a powerful blood purifier and great for skin and bone health.
Fresh Basil has anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and anti-bacterial properties. The herb contains exceptionally high levels of beta-carotene and vitamin A and is rich in zeaxanthin an anti-oxidant that helps protect age-related macular disease. It has a good amount of Iron and also helps to detoxify the liver. It contains phytochemicals that may lower cortisol, a hormone secreted when you’re stressed that causes weight gain, so add some fresh basil to your water or tea.