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For variety and color, add thawed frozen green peas, small broccoli florets or finely chopped spinach in the last five minutes of cooking. This sturdy stew freezes well; make extras and let cool completely before freezing into individual portions. Serve with a big salad and warm bread for a simple, classic comfort-food meal.
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1. Clean and trim mushrooms. Halve or quarter cremini mushrooms (about 1/2 to 1-inch pieces); leave small mushrooms whole. If using portobellos, cut into 1/2 to 1-inch cubes.
2. In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté onions, carrots and garlic for 3 minutes, until onions are just softened. Add mushrooms, potatoes, vegetable stock, red wine, tomato paste and rosemary sprigs; stir to mix well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender but still firm, 10 to 15 minutes.
3. During the last five minutes of cooking, remove and discard rosemary sprigs. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch or arrowroot with about 1/2 cup of vegetable stock from the pot; stir to mix well, making sure all lumps are dissolved. Stir mixture back into the pot and cook for 5 minutes longer, until sauce thickens. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer to individual serving bowls and sprinkle generously with parsley. Serve hot.