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TCP Kitchen

A Little This, a Little That

Before you know it, it’s stew

There’s not a whole lot I like about winter—too cold and too gray for my sunny disposition. But there is at least one bright, warm spot in the season, and I can find it in my kitchen, specifically in a 2-gallon soup pot.

There’s not much simpler or more satisfying than a warm broth on a cold evening. And with so many possibilities—different combinations of ingredients, spices and flavors—you could make a different soup every day until spring has sprung.

When I’m in a mood for a good winter soup, I often start with a peek in the refrigerator/freezer.

I’m what you might call a this ’n’ that kind of cook. When I find an ingredient that I want to build a dish around, I’ll toss it in the pot with a bit of this, then add a bit of that, and before you know it, dinner’s ready. The biggest drawback to that kind of cooking, besides the occasional barely edible misfires, is that if I make something truly delicious, I sometimes have problems re-creating it. Thus, I’ve started taking notes when I’m cooking.

The this ’n’ that method is how I concocted this stew, which pairs lamb—a meat that often gets overlooked—with root vegetables and fresh herbs.

Lamb and Root Vegetable Stew

2 pounds lamb shoulder or roast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium sweet yellow onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups water or chicken broth
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried)
6 medium carrots, chopped
1 pound “A”-size red potatoes, quartered
1/2 teaspoon red pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt

Put lamb in large storage bag with flour and black pepper and shake to coat thoroughly. Heat olive oil in large soup pot on medium heat and cook lamb until pieces are lightly browned. Add onion and garlic and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Deglaze with wine. Transfer to slow cooker, add remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly. Cook on slow for 4-5 hours, or until carrots and potatoes are soft. Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serving size: 1 cup. Per serving: 527 calories, 34.2 g protein, 25.4 g fat, 34.8 g carbohydrates, 4.2 g fiber, 564 mg sodium, 102 mg cholesterol