Global Warming

Bold, flavorful stews to heat up our winter.

Bold, flavorful stews to heat up our winter.

Think of any classic stew and chances are it will make you think of a country. Paella, bouillabaisse and curry conjure images of Spain, France and India as quickly as callaloo (made with greens, okra, yams, coconut milk and chiles) takes you to the Caribbean, or caldo verte, made with kale and potatoes, whisks you off to Portugal. Some stews serve as regional symbols, such as gumbo and chili; others, such as pepper pot, are just traditional American comfort foods.

Stews make great meatless dinners because they’re so filling: all those beans and potatoes, all that broth. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy to prepare—at least, I can make that promise for the recipes that follow. They demand little more than some chopping and dicing. The cooking is straightforward and the ingredients are simple. Flavors meld, textures blend, aromas beckon.

On a harried weeknight, a bowl of Masala Vegetable Stew offers more than one kind of heat. If you’re having pals over for a weekend dinner, the Provençal Bean Pot never fails to please, particularly when served with crusty French bread to soak up the juices. Your guests will think you slaved for hours.

Don’t just take our word for it. Give these favorites a try and bring an international flare to your table.