In its native land, this stew is chock-full of herbs, spices and, well, you really don’t want to know. Our version replaces these “mystery ingredients” with tofu and soy “pepperoni.”
Cut tofu into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Blot well between layers of paper towel, then cut into 1/2-inch dice.
In wide skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add tofu and “pepperoni” and cook, stirring often, until tofu is golden on most sides and “pepperoni” is crisp. Remove to plate.
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat and add onion and celery. Cook, stirring often, until onion is softened, 10 minutes. Add leeks, potatoes, carrots, bell pepper, chile pepper if using and 4 cups water and bring to a simmer. Add bouillon cube, bay leaves, thyme, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Simmer gently, covered, until vegetables are tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in reserved tofu and “pepperoni” slices. Remove bay leaves.
In small saucepan, melt margarine. Slowly stir in flour. When mixture is smooth, stir it slowly into stew. Cook until sauce thickens, uncovered, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley. Serve hot.