Selecting the trimmest, fastest-cooking ingredients is the basis for instant stews. But the key to creating such a stew is in the assembly of those ingredients.
There are five simple steps to cooking an instant stew in your home kitchen:
In a soup pot, bring broth to a boil over medium-high heat.
Add tender, lean, skinless poultry or fish that's been cut into small pieces. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove and reserve the meat.
Add hard, long-cooking fresh foods like potatoes, carrots or winter squash and dried foods like lentils, uncooked white rice and grains, as well as any dried herbs or spices. Stir, cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add dried food, such as various kinds of pasta and quick rice (which have shorter cooking times that those mentioned in Step 3), canned beans, frozen vegetables, tender fresh vegetables and aromatics like garlic or onions. Bring to a boil. Stir, cover and cook for 5 to 10 minutes.
Return cooked poultry or fish to the pot. Add fresh snipped herbs, fresh pasta or fresh greens, like spinach or kale. Stir, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Serve the stew immediately.