A flavorful, healthy and hearty vegetable stew, made with an assortment of mixed vegetables and nicely flavored with tomato paste, cumin, and paprika.
My mother in law introduced me to guvetch many years ago. The hearty vegetable stew, made with an assortment of fleshy vegetables and simply flavored with tomatoes, salt, pepper, and a little sugar, was surprisingly good.
The starting point: my mother in law’s recipe
Every time my parents in law visited us, they started their visit with a trip to the supermarket. Back in my kitchen, grocery bags heaping with vegetables, my mother in law would start peeling and chopping.
Within the hour, there were two steaming pots on the stovetop. One with a hearty vegetable stew, the other with slowly simmering homemade chicken soup.
My mother in law is perpetually on a diet. The bowls of cooked vegetables and rich chicken broth help her stay happy and full even on a limited caloric budget.
But even though my husband and I are never on a diet (we simply eat healthy and lowish carb), we love this stew. It’s flavorful, warming and satisfying. Almost meaty, thanks to the eggplant.
My mother in law taught me her wonderful recipe. Over the years, I made a few changes to her original recipe.
My own version is a little more seasoned. I skip the sugar and add cumin and paprika. But other than that it’s very similar to her wonderful basic recipe.
The ingredients you’ll need
The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here’s an overview of what you’ll need:
- Tomato paste
- Fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Spices: cumin and paprika
- Olive oil
- Vegetables: onion, garlic, eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers
Can I use different vegetables?
Yes! You can use whatever veggies you like and change up the ratio, as long as the volume of veggies remains about the same.
Also, make sure you use sturdy vegetables that can withstand slow cooking. So cauliflower works, but lettuce does not.
How to make a vegetable stew
It’s so easy! Scroll down to the recipe card for the detailed instructions. Here are the basic steps:
- Start by whisking together the tomato paste, water, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and the spices.
- Cook the vegetables in olive oil in the order listed, then add the sauce and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
How to serve this vegetable stew
It’s a wonderful, filling side dish. Sometimes I simply serve it topped with a couple of poached eggs for a wonderful, satiating meatless dinner. Other times, I bake tiny cocktail meatballs and mix them into the stew.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers keep beautifully in the fridge, in a sealed container, for 3-4 days. In fact, like most stews, this one actually tastes better the second day, after the flavors have had some time to meld.
Is this vegetable stew healthy?
However, you will need to check and decide for yourself. If you need to be on a very low carb or a ketogenic diet, then this recipe is probably not the best fit for you. Other vegetable recipes might be a better fit.
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Hearty Vegetable Stew
- 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (not table salt)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large eggplant, unpeeled, cubed into 1-inch cubes
- 6 medium zucchinis, unpeeled, cubed into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 large bell peppers, chopped
- In a large bowl, whisk together the tomato paste, water, lemon juice, kosher salt, black pepper, cumin and paprika. Set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook 3-4 minutes, until translucent.
- Add the eggplant, zucchinis and garlic. Cook, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes.
- Add the bell peppers and the tomato mixture. Gently mix with a wooden spoon to blend everything together. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, covered, 30 minutes, stirring gently every 10 minutes, until vegetables are tender.
- Remove from heat, stir one more time, and allow to slightly cool before serving, about 10 minutes.