The words "soup" and "stew" are often used interchangeably, but our food dictionary defines stews as heartier, thicker, and more flavorful than soups. It's best to serve soups as a first course or appetizer, but if you're looking for something to really fill you up, stews will do the trick. So when the air starts getting nippy and you're looking for something to warm you up, consider stirring up any of these delicious stews.
Stews are cooked over low heat for an extended time, so use vegetables that will retain their shape when cooked. Root vegetables such as carrots are a staple in many stew recipes. Other ingredients to consider are beans, and winter and summer squashes.
The Proper Equipment
- Over the Stove: Make sure your pan or pot is large enough to hold all the solid and liquid ingredients. Consider using a deep large sauté pan (12 or 13 inches deep) or a Dutch oven, like the ones recommended in our kitchen equipment guide.
- On the Countertop: Perfect for making stews, the slow cooker is back in vogue. A slow cooker is incredibly easy to use and allows you to walk away and leave the food unattended. You can put your ingredients in, go off to work, and come home to a bubbling stew. For helpful tips on cooking with the appliance, read our primer on slow cooking.
Sides and Accompaniments
Esther Sung first joined Epicurious.com in 2006. Prior to this, she spent several years in book publishing, including at Harper Entertainment, where the proverbial three-martini lunch was sadly nowhere to be found. When not in the office, she moonlights at the Bottle Shoppe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and through this she has developed a fondness for Syrah and Malbec. A quasi-vegetarian, she admits to having relished eating yuk hwe, a Korean raw beef dish.
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