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Warm Up From The Cold With Winter Stews And Soups

We've got stews and soups today on Earth Eats, an episode with two hearty recipes to warm you up on these cold winter days.

a bowl of beef stew served with spaghetti

Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

Warm up from a cold winter day with a warm bowl of beef or bison stew with winter vegetables, or, for vegetarians, our delicious lentil bisque.

beef stew

Photo: Adam P Schweigert/WFIU

We’ve got stews and soups today on Earth Eats, an episode to warm you up on these cold winter days.

Two recipes – the first: a hearty beef stew for the meat eaters and second, a vegetarian-friendly lentil soup. So, put on some fuzzy socks, get a fire started, and enjoy.

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Recipe: Beef Or Bison Stew With Winter Vegetables

This is a great recipe to make for a group of friends – it yields about a gallon and a half of stew.


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, for frying, plus more to drizzle
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 to 3 pounds beef chuck shoulder roast, cut into 2-inch pieces (this cut is also called chuck shoulder pot roast and chuck roast boneless)
  • sea salt and Aux Poivre Spice Blend (recipe follows)
  • 1 bottle good quality dry red wine
  • 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 6 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 orange, zest removed in 3 (1-inch) strips
  • 1/4 teaspoon Sweet Seasons Spice Blend (recipe follows)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups beef stock
  • 9 small new potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut in 1/2
  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups Assorted Root vegetables such as celery root, turnips, parsnips
  • 2 onions- roughly chopped
  • 1 pound white mushrooms, cut in 1/2
  • fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • horseradish sour cream (recipe follows) for garnish


  1. Preheat a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat with the oil and butter.
  2. While the pan is heating, arrange the flour on a large dish. Season the cubed beef with some salt and freshly ground black pepper and then toss in the flour to coat. Shake off the excess flour and add the beef chunks in a single layer to the hot pan, being careful not to over crowd the pan, you might have to work in batches.
  3. Thoroughly brown all of the cubes on all sides. Once all the meat has been browned remove it to a plate and reserve.
  4. Add the wine to the pan and bring up to a simmer while you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon being sure to loosen up all those tasty bits.
  5. Once the wine has gotten hot add the browned meat, thyme, smashed garlic, orange zest strip, ground cloves, freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste, bay leaves and beef stock.
  6. Bring the mixture up to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered until the liquids start to thicken, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Cover and cook on low heat for 2 1/2 hours.
  8. After 2 hours add halved potatoes, sliced carrots, root vegetables, onions and mushrooms, along with a touch of honey or molasses to balance out the acid from the red wine.
  9. Turn the heat up slightly and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes more, until the vegetables and meat are tender.
  10. Add the frozen peas during the last minute of cooking. Season with salt and pepper and remove the thyme sprigs.
  11. To serve, place the stew in a soup bowl, garnish with parsley, drizzle with olive oil and add a dollop of Horseradish Sour Cream. Right before serving add a slice of Toasted Peasant Bread, half way submerged in the stew.

Aux Poivres Spice Blend

  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cracked white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese Szechuan pepper
  • 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 4 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons guinea pepper
  • 1 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Coarsely crack all the peppercorns and spices separately and combine with the red pepper flakes. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

Sweet Seasons Spice Blend

  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 stick cinnamon (1/2″)
  • 1/2 teaspoon annatto seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon pomegranate powder
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • 2 pieces cloves
  • 1 piece mace
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves

Grind fine in a spice blender. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Horseradish Sour Cream

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • chives, finely chopped, as garnish

Combine sour cream, prepared horseradish and a drizzle of olive oil in a small bowl and mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add a dollop of the mixture on top of the stew and garnish with chopped chives.

Recipe: Yellow Lentil Bisque

Now for a recipe that’s warm, hearty, and vegetarian-friendly too! Yields: 1 ½ gallons of soup.

lentil bisque

Photo: Bernard Gordillo/WFIU


  • 1 pound yellow or red lentils
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 8 diced/chopped plum tomatoes
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 spanish onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 bulb fennel
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 4 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 quarts water
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg, and Tabasco to taste


  1. Rinse the lentils in cold water. Sauté the vegetables and spices in olive oil. Add the lentils, cover with water and bring to a simmer.
  2. When all the vegetables and lentils are cooked and tender, puree the mixture with a stationary or hand-held blender and pass through a fine chinoise. Adjust thickness with additional water or vegetable stock as needed.
 Season to taste.
  3. May be made 2-3 days in advance and reheated gently as needed.
  4. Serve in warm bowls with crusty bread.
  5. Garnish with: ¼ cup thick drained yogurt, cilantro or other toppings: crabmeat, grilled or roasted vegetables, pumpkin seed oil, toasted nuts, etc.

Next Week

Next week on Earth Eats we have a listener request show.

You wrote in and asked for an episode with ideas for what to do with eggplant, and we’re ready to deliver. We have a delicious eggplant caviar, eggplant french fries, and a whole lot more.

To be sure not to miss it, make sure you subscribe to our free weekly podcast in iTunes or with your favorite RSS reader.

Give these recipes a shot and let us know what you think, drop us a line at eartheats @ or leave a comment.

Adam Schweigert

Adam Schweigert is the Managing Editor and Senior Producer for Earth Eats. He is also the Online Director for Indiana Public Media (WFIU/WTIU) and has been with WFIU Public Radio since the fall of 2003, previously serving as Director of Multimedia Initiatives, Music Director and Arts Bureau Chief. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his dog Sydney.

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