7 Stew Recipes To Help You Stay Warm

Chow on 01.25.13
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Photo: H. Armstrong Roberts/Retrofile/Getty Images

We are in the midst of a deep freeze here in Toronto, where the temperature has plummeted to -22C with the windchill making it feel like -30C. For those of you who get your temperature in Fahrenheit rather than Celsius, that's -7 that actually feels like -22. It's hard to stay warm, even in the house. My cat is moving between lying in front of the fireplace, lying under the radiator, and wrapping himself in my fuzzy blanket when I'm not using it. Extreme cold alerts from the City tell us that unprotected skin will freeze in 15 minutes, and walking my dog this morning, I could well believe it.

Hearty soups and stews seem to be the things to make to try to stay warm. Not only that, stew usually gets better after a day or two so if this cold snap continues, I'll have meals I can just heat up without having to stand in the cold kitchen and cook. I can wrap myself in the fuzzy blanket after wrestling it from the cat, and sit in front of the fire.

1. Irish Stew

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

We can start with a traditional meat based Irish stew that is guaranteed to make you feel warmer. If lamb isn't your thing, then you can try this crock pot beef stew.

2. Lentil Stew

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

Stews can just as easily be vegetarian as meat based. Anyone who follows my recipes knows that I'm a big fan of lentils, and this lentil stew is wonderful with big hunks of potatoes and cauliflower.

3. White Bean and Vegetable Stew

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

I have a few legume based stews for you to try. This white bean and vegetable stew calls for zucchini and spinach, but you can use sturdier greens such as kale or Swiss chard.

4. Tomato Bean Stew

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

As you can see, this tomato bean stew is dense with lots of vegetables and some tangy olives. The recipe calls for marinated red peppers as well, so there is a bit of a Meditteranean feel to this dish.

 5. White Bean Stew With Porcini and Winter Squash

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

Doesn't this bean stew with porcini and winter squash look sunny? All of that yellow and orange has got to make you feel warmer.

6. Bean and Vegetable Stew

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

As you can see from these photos, I've used white navy or cannellini beans in a lot of these recipes. That's just because I like them in soups and stews. Feel free to use other beans, or chickpeas in these recipes. They all would work. This bean and vegetable stew is almost a soup, with lots of delicious stock. You could also toss some ham or double smoked bacon into any of these bean dishes if you wanted to add meat.

7. Fish Stew

Photo: Kelly Rossiter

My husband loves fish and I do not and sometimes (although, not really that often) I feel guilty for not cooking it more for him. But boy is he happy when I do. This fish stew was a huge hit with him. I have to admit, even I enjoyed it.

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