For Christmas, my husband gave me two Redwall picture books, A Redwall Winter’s Tale and The Great Redwall Feast. Both books are a fun read, and they are also beautifully illustrated. I expected to find lots of food inspiration in The Great Redwall Feast (and I did!), but A Redwall Winter’s Tale also had some cozy depictions of food and feasting. That’s where I got the inspiration for this recipe.
A Redwall Winter’s Tale takes place across the span of two days: the last day of autumn, and the first day of winter. For the evening meal on the last day of autumn, the creatures feast on woodland stew, among other things. When I read about woodland stew, I imagined the creatures of Redwall venturing out into the woods on a cold autumn day to gather the last remaining vegetables and herbs before the freeze. It’s with that image in my mind that I created this woodland stew. Instead of creating a recipe first and then going to buy ingredients, I did the opposite, and instead “foraged” for ingredients first. I went to the grocery store and picked up any vegetable or herb that I thought would be at home in a warm autumnal stew, and this was the result! Using that same inspiration as a guide, I encourage you to recreate this stew using whatever vegetables and herbs you like, though I’ll offer suggestions. Let’s get cooking!
Woodland Stew – A Redwall Recipe
3 cups chopped veggies*
4 cups vegetable broth
1 can tomato sauce
1 can diced tomatoes
2 tsp Italian seasoning
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
*Use whatever veggies sound good to you. Some veggies that work well in stew are onion, garlic, celery, carrots, potatoes, corn, peas, and mushrooms.
1. Place the veggies and broth in a big pot, and boil until the veggies are tender.
2. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, seasoning, and balsamic vinegar.
3. Mix the cornstarch with about 2 Tablespoons of water.
4. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the stew, and stir well.
5. Allow the stew to boil, stirring frequently, until it thickens.