What, me worry? I have curry! What is it about the delectable herb that brings out the best in everything around it? With a little bit of cayenne (well maybe a lot), some cumin, turmeric, and fresh vegetables, you can make a hearty stew that will make you forget you ever liked meat in the first place.
That could be taking it a little far, but this dish has the hearty consistency of what you might expect in a thick, meaty stew. It is almost impossible for me to believe that this is a vegan recipe. It tastes too delicious! The combined base of coconut milk, vegan butter, and vegetable broth combine perfectly into a rich and creamy consistency might trick you into thinking it is something that it is not.
However, the spiciness from the cayenne pepper is really what makes it pop. This stew is absolutely full of flavor! It packs a vegetable based whole food flavor punch that requires no meat to fill it out. It satisfies your belly and your soul because you can eat about as much of it as you possibly want, and it will never meet the calorie count of a cup of comparable meat-based soup. In place of saturated fats, you have natures best heart disease and cancer fighting agents. This makes for quite a trade, and yes indeed, it is a win-win on all accounts.
There is no question this is one of the best things I've ever made in my crock-pot! Ever! I would even put it up against football soup, a full bodied meaty soup I've loved since forever.
I used a lot of vegetables that I had on hand in the fridge, but feel free to substitute whatever you have that needs to be eaten. I especially love this particular combination of tomatoes, kale, red potato chunks, onions, and chickpeas. The fullness of body and flavor in these vegetables occasionally trick you into thinking you've taken a bite of meat.
This old Cooking Light recipe inspired my vegan curry coconut vegetable stew, but the original is rendered almost unrecognizable after all my changes and adjustments. It's great with some warm crusty sourdough bread, or even poured over quinoa or brown rice. I cannot get over how delicious this stew is! And the broth - I could drink it it's so good.
This stew would be perfect for serving a big crowd over the holidays - especially if you've got both vegetarians and meat eaters in the group. Everyone will love it. The recipe does make a good bit of soup, more than two very hungry people can eat, but it also freezes well.
Vegan Curry Coconut Vegetable Stew (Inspired by this Cooking Light recipe)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 large shallot, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 bunch of kale cut into strips (I used the stems too, but feel free to discard if you don't like the stems)
- 4 good sized red potatoes (around 2 1/2-3 cups, give or take) diced
- 1 bell pepper (I used 1/2 of a yellow and 1/2 of a green bell pepper)
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
- 14oz can of light coconut milk
- 3 cups of vegetable broth
- 28oz can of crushed tomatoes (important to use crushed tomatoes here, not diced!)
- 1 Tablespoon of Earth Balance or other vegan butter
- a teaspoon or two of olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon curry powder
- 1/2 Tablespoon of brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- dash of cumin
- dash of turmeric
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the vegan butter and olive oil in a large saute pan with the onion and shallot. Saute the onion and shallot for a couple of minutes until the vegetables begin to smell fragrant and look a little translucent. Add the potatoes, garlic, curry powder, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, and a little salt to the pan. Stir this potato mixture around and cook for a few minutes.
Pour the potato onion mixture into a large crock-pot. Add vegetable broth, coconut milk, crushed tomatoes, brown sugar, pepper, and 1/2 cup of water to the crock-pot. Give the stew a good stir and cover on high for 4 hours. Taste before serving and add more salt and cayenne if desired.