This hearty stew has everything you love about beef stew, but without the beef! It has large chunks of potato, carrot, celery, and onion, and Portobello mushrooms stand in for the beef. Garlic, paprika, and fresh rosemary provide excellent flavor.
1½ large yellow or white onions, chopped into ¾-inch pieces (about 3 cups)
3 medium carrots, sliced lengthwise and cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 2¼ cups)
3 ribs celery, cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 1 cup)
2 medium portabella mushrooms, cut into ¾-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
1½ tablespoon finely chopped garlic (about 6 medium cloves)
5 cups water
2 pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾-inch chunks (about 6 cups)
⅓ cup tomato paste (half of a 6-ounce can)
1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1½ cups cooked peas (if frozen, rinse under warm water)
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of water in a soup pot over medium-high heat. When the water starts to sputter, add the onions, carrots, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, for about 8 minutes, adding water as needed.
2. Stir in the mushrooms and garlic, and continue to cook while stirring for 5 minutes more, adding water as needed.
3. Add the 5 cups of water, potatoes, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and paprika, and bring to a boil, uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the rosemary. Cover and cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until the carrots and potatoes are very tender.
4. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes more.
5. Place 2 cups of the stew (broth and vegetables) into a blender, and blend just briefly. Stir the mixture back into the pot to thicken the stew. Stir in the parsley.
Special Notes Peeling the potatoes: I like to peel my potatoes before cooking them, but you can also leave the skins on.
Fresh rosemary: Fresh rosemary is wonderful in this stew, but if you only have dried, use ½ teaspoon.