Hearty Root Vegetable and Mushroom Stew


  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 celery rib, minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 carrot, peeled and minced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (optional), rinsed and minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 lbs white mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced fresh thyme, or 1/2 tsp dried
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 lbs root vegetables (choose a mix of parsnips, rutabaga, carrots, celery root, or even butternut squash), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 lb red potatoes (about 3), scrubbed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, carrot, porcini mushrooms, and 1 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are well browned, about 15 minutes.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and white mushrooms, increase the heat to medium-high, and cook, stirring often, until their liquid is released and evaporates, about 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until a dark, thick fond forms on the bottom of the pot, 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, and thyme and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, water, root vegetables, potatoes, and bay leaves and bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pot partially (the lid should be just off center to leave about 1 inch exposed), and cook until the stew is thickened and the vegetables tender, about 1 hour. Off the heat, remove and discard the bay leaves and stir in the parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.

from The Best of America's Test Kitchen 2010, by , pg 29