Hearty Porcini Vegetable Stew with Soft Polenta.

recipe name

October 7th, 2012

This rich stew is easy to make and goes equally well with some crusty bread as it does with polenta.

Makes four serves.



  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup walnuts roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon mild paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
  • 3 cups of vegetable stock (preferably good fresh stock)
  • Peel of half a lemon (use the vegetable peeler and leave it in strips)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Green beans or broccoli to serve
  • Vegetables - about 200 grams or just under half pound each of the following cubed
    • Carrot
    • Golden beetroots (or regular beetroot, swede or turnip)
    • Potato
    • Sweet potato
    • Potato
    • Mushrooms (king brown are great but so are regular button mushrooms)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Soft Polenta

  • 1 cup polenta (the instruction are for quick cook polenta, if you have regular polenta just follow the instructions on the packet which will vary according to the size of the polenta)
  • 2 cups of stock
  • 5 sundried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of oil from the sundried tomatoes
  • Pepper


Soak the porcini mushrooms in one cup of the stock and set aside.

Add the onion with two tablespoons of olive oil and a large pinch of salt to a large saucepan over a low to medium heat. Cook for ten minutes, the onion should be soft but not caramelised. Add the walnuts to the pot and cook gently for another two minutes, then add the garlic.

Cook for another minute and then add the red wine, carrot, beetroot, thyme, paprika, rosemary, fennel and bay leaves. Gently simmer for two to three minutes until the red wine is reduced.

Add the porcini mushrooms and stock and the remaining stock with the potato and sweet potato. Bring to a rolling boil and cook for ten minutes until the potatoes are just done.

Whisk together the flour with about a 1/4 cup of water to a smooth paste. Slowly stir into the stew with the tomato paste and lemon juice.

Add the mushrooms, leave to cook on a low heat for five minutes.

In a small saucepan add the stock with two cups of water and bring to the boil. Whisk in the polenta. Continue to whisk while adding the sundried tomatoes and oil. Reduce the heat and continue to cook for five minutes, adding more water if required. Season with pepper.

Season the stew, steam the green vegetables and serve.