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Vegetarian & Vegan Catalan Vegetable Stew: Estofat de Quaresma [Lenten Stew]
From the Kitchen of fatherpat

Category: Vegetarian & Vegan
Servings: 4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side dish
Preparation Time: 1 hour, plus soak beans overnight

Recipe Ingredients
9 oz dried beans, or liman beans
2 slices fried bread
olive oil
3 onions, chopped
1 head garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
4 tomatoes, seeded and grated or peeled, seeded and chopped
1 large sprig fresh mint or 1/2 teaspoon dried
2 sprigs parsley
8 oz water
2 pounds red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered but unpeeled
1 pound shelled fresh peas
salt and pepper
2-4 oz butter to taste, softened

Recipe Directions
Soak beans overnight in cold water, then drain
Remove bread crusts, slice 1/2 inch thick and brown in plenty of hot olive oil; drain the bread on paper towels and allow to cool
In a cassola or flameproof casserole, briefly saute the breadcrumbs in a small amount of oil over low heat; then stir in the onions, garlic, tomatoes, mint, parsley and beans
Add 8 oz of water and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes
Add potatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes more, adding a bit more water if necessary
Add the peas, mix well and simmer for about 15 minues more or until the beans are done. Salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the parsley and mint sprigs if desired, then stir in the butter

NOTE: dried beans are preferable in this recipe, so that they can be cooked the full 45 minutes and thus add their flavor more fully to the pot. If you are using canned beans, strain their liquid into the pot and add the beans themselves 6 minutes before the cooking is finished. For frozen beans or peas, add them 10 minutes before cooking is finsihed. Never use canned peas.

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