Spring Vegetable Stew

Spring Vegetable Stew

 

3 md Leeks; white parts only sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
2 lg Artichokes
2 Lemons; juice only
3/4 lb Fava beans, shelled
1 lb Thick asparagus
1 tb Butter
1 tb Virgin olive oil
5 sm Garlic cloves; unpeeled
Salt 1 1/2 cup
Water
6 small Turnips; peeled and halved
6 sm Carrots - peeled & halved lengthwise
1 lb Fresh peas; shelled,
Additional butter, to taste
Chopped fresh herbs; such as Parsley, Thyme, Basil, Marjoram
Freshly milled pepper

Wash the sliced leeks well, as they are always sandy. Trim the artichokes. Keep the finished pieces in a bowl covered with water and the juice of one lemon. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the fava beans, and cook for about a minute. Scoop them out and put them in a bowl of cold water, reserving the cooking water. Slip each bean out of its skin and set aside. Cut the top 3 inches off the asparagus. (Save the stalks for soup.) If the tips are very thick, slice them in half lengthwise. Warm the butter and olive oil in a wide skillet and add the leeks, artichokes, garlic, and salt lightly. Toss to coat everything with the oil and squeeze the juice of the second lemon over all. Cook gently for several minutes, without frying, then add the water. Simmer, partially covered, for about 15 minutes or until the artichokes are tender but still a little firm. Make sure there is always some liquid in the pan, adding more water as needed in small increments. Return the water used for the fava beans to the heat and bring to a boil. Separately blanch the turnips, carrots and asparagus and add them to the stewed vegetables along with the fresh peas. Cook gently until all the vegetables are tender and the liquid is reduced to a syrup. Taste for salt. Stir in the additional butter and the herbs and season with pepper.

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