Connie  |  Jan 11, 2020

This is a delicious plant-based vegetable stew recipe to serve on those cold winter days to give your body, and soul a warm uplifting hug. The crispiness of the fried polenta contrasts marvellously with the soft comforting texture of the stewed vegetables.  The sweetness from the parsnips and pumpkin beautifully matches the slight sourness of the tomatoes, white balsamic vinegar and lime juice. This is the first time I made this vegan stew recipe in Connie's Kitchen and I was delighted with how it turned out.

Ingredients: (for 3)


250g instant polenta (corn flour, cooking time ca. 5-10 min)

1l water

1 heaped tsp salt

1 Tbsp Olive Oil

optional: for a vegetarian dish, grated cheese (e.g. gruyere)



3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 handful of of finely chopped leek

1 handful of finely chopped sellerie stick

1 Tbsp Olive oil

1 Tbsp sweet Paprika powder

1 Tbsp ground cumin

½ Tbsp dried thyme or a sprig of fresh thyme

1 Tsp chilli flakes or a  small dried chilli finely chopped (seeds removed)

1l of vegetable broth /  bouillon

250g  white beans (canned & drained or or pre-cooked dried beans)

400g Butternut squash, cut in 1.5 cm cubes

1 Turnip approx.. 200g , cut in 1,5cm cubes

150g Cabbage  (or curly kale or other variety) washed and torn into 2cm pieces

1 Tbsp Vinegar (condimento bianco)

200 ml Tomato pulp 

2 Tbsp Connies Kitchen Jalapeño Ketchup (or we will forgive you if you don't have that and you can use 1 Tbsp Organic Tomato paste)

Salt Pepper

Lime wedge for serving




1. In a medium pot bring the water, salt and olive oil to a boil.

2. Slowly pour the polenta into boiling water, whisking constantly until all polenta is stirred in and there are no lumps. Reduce heat to very low and keep stirring until polenta starts to thicken, then cover and simmer for about 5 minutes (or follow instructions on pack). 

3. Cover a baking tray with a baking sheet, and  spread the polenta on the tray (about 1cm high). Let it cool completely. Once cold cut the polenta into small cubes (about ½-1cm) and sprinkle half of it with some more polenta. Freeze the other half for when you cook this recipe again.

4. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a non stick pan (I use a cast iron) and once hot, add the polenta cubes. Fry until they are golden brown, approx. 15-20mins, stir from time to time.

Optional for vegetarians: When the polenta cubes are done, switch off the heat and add a good handful of grated cheese to the polenta cubes and stir. The cheese should coat the cubes and get golden and lightly crisp. 


 Selbstgemacht, ohne Zucker, Ketchup, Polenta



1.Heat 1 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat in a big pot, then add garlic, leeks and sellerie and dry spices (except for thyme). Stir for 2-3 min until veggies start to soften

2.Add the other vegetables (except for kale) and vinegar, stir for another 2 minutes.

3.Add bouillon, thyme, tomato pulp, ketchup (or tomato paste) and salt (acc. to taste)

4.Simmer for about 15 mins then add the beans and the kale and simmer for another 2 mins. Switch off. at this stage the veggies should be soft (but still have a bite).

Serve: Laddle the soup into bowls, squeeze some limejuice over the stew and sprinkle with the polenta cubes.


Tip: When cooking dried beans, soak them over night  to reduce cooking time. Add  a bay leave and some cumin seeds to the cooking water (no salt!) and cook for about 1h (a pressure cooker speeds this up). I usually make big batch and freeze the beans /chick peas in smaller quantities. This way I can speed up the cooking time for recipes with legumes. You can also use tinned legumes.



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