Authentic Italian Stew
Today was one of those days when I had a crockpot meal planned, but forgot to prep early enough to cook it in the crockpot! Sound familiar? I’m sure that never happens to anyone else.
Usually when this happens, it’s a good excuse to eat out. But I’m trying to be mindful of healthy eating (and our budget) so I was determined to figure out a way to make Italian Stew on the stovetop instead. I googled a few recipes and took what I thought looked good from each one and came up with my own version of Italian Stew. I have to say, I was very impressed with myself! It was quite tasty and even my picky eaters cleaned their soup bowls. I am so proud of my creation that I am sharing my recipe with you!
It was pretty simple and quick to make. I like simple. And quick. Who has hours to spend in the kitchen every night? Not this mom. It took about 20 minutes to chop everything up, another 5 to brown it all up in a pot and the last half hour was spent simmering while I tended to other things in the kitchen.
First thing you need to do is assemble all your ingredients. Pretty straightforward, right?
Just to note, I put in the recipe to use either coconut oil or olive oil-this will be used to brown your meat. I always use coconut oil for heating. It is one of the more stable oils when cooking at high temps. Other oils can become carcinogenic when heated and believe it or not, olive oil is one of them. Olive oil is really meant to be a cold oil. If you don’t care about these things, then use whatever oil you like! As far as coconut oil goes, I usually bake with Costco’s organic coconut oil, but when it comes to cooking, I like LouAna brand. It doesn’t have a coconut flavor and my family prefers for their veggies to not taste like coconut. This is what I use.
Okay, with that aside, prep your veggies. Peel your potatoes, carrots and onion. Chop the potatoes into chunks. I like to make them bite sized but prefer to not have them too small. Really, it’s preference. Chop as small or as large as you like! Slice your carrots and chop your onions in large (bite-sized) chunks as well. Put all your veggies into a bowl and put aside.
Now, put your diced tomatoes, with their juice, into a small food processor and blend it all up. It doesn’t need to be super smooth-a few small chunks are okay. Put aside.
Now you’re ready to cut your meat. Cut them into cubes. Again, I like to cut them into bite-sized cubes so that I don’t have to cut it with my spoon in the soup bowl. If you like to hanker down on a big piece of meat, be my guest. Next, you will put your meat cubes in a bowl and pour your flour on top; slightly less than 1/4 cup. Coat the meat completely with the flour.
Measure 2 tablespoons of your oil into a large stockpot. Turn the heat to medium-high and when the oil is hot, throw your meat into the stockpot. Turn every 30 seconds or so, getting each side of the meat good and brown.
When it looks pretty brown, go ahead and toss in the veggies, along with the tomatoes, garlic and seasonings. Give it a good stir and then add the water and broth.
Now, cover your pot with a lid and bring your broth to a boil. Once it’s boiling, you can turn down the heat to medium-low. Simmer for about 30 minutes. When the meat is cooked all the way through, and the veggies are tender when you put a fork through them, you know your soup is done.
Serve with some Italian bread and you have a delicious, authentic Italian meal, perfect for this fall weather! It’s authentic because, you know, I am 1/8 Italian. Depending on your family size, you may have some soup leftover. I’m really looking forward to lunch tomorrow-leftover Italian soup!!