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Hibernate With This Recipe For Vegetable Burgoo

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jan 20, 2014 8:15PM

Photo credit: Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

The Midwest and East Coast are set for another round of arctic temperatures—but don't call it a polar vortex—and unlike the bitter, record setting temps of a couple weeks back here in Chicago we're preparing for it like we've done this before. It's just a few days of temps in the single digits and teens. Easy peasy.

This cold weather is perfect for hearty soups and stews and one stew that is easy to make is burgoo. Similar to Irish and Mulligan stews, burgoos are particularly popular among Kentuckians. There's a "throw whatever is on hand into the mix" aesthetic to preparing a burgoo we can wholeheartedly embrace and in many areas across the Bluegrass State burgoos serve as catalysts for bringing communities together. That was on my mind last week when I prepared this vegetable burgoo, adapted from the blog Reckless Culinarian. This contains no meat but with both kidney and garbanzo beans is no less filling.

One of the keys to this recipe is making a fumet (stock) from mushrooms, which adds added flavor and texture to the mix. I adapted this recipe for the fumet.


1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 leek heart (Just the tender light green and white parts) julienned. Reserve the rest of the leek as well, minced.
1 celery stick, julienned
2 marinated artichoke hearts (liquid reserved), minced
1 quart mushroom Fumet (see recipe below)
16 ounces garbanzo beans
16 ounces kidney beans
1-1/4 Cup Orzo
3 Large Red Potatoes
2 Tablespoons jerk seasoning
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon each of dried rosemary, thyme and sage
Crushed Red Pepper to Taste

Uniformly dice the potatoes into one inch cubes, soak in cool water seasoned with salt and pepper for at least fifteen minutes. Reserve this water.

Sautee julienned savory leek hearts and celery until tender in 2 Tbsp Olive Oil and jerk seasoning until tender. Deglaze with Artichoke Marinade Liquid.

Drain oil from savory veggies and reserve. Discard Veggies.

Toss potatoes in reserved oil until evenly coated and arrange in single layer on VERY well greased baking pan. Bake in oven preheated to 400° oven until crisp on the outside.

Divide mushroom stock into thirds, and soak cooked beans in one-third.

In a stock pot sauté the artichoke hearts, garlic and minced leeks in remaining olive oil.
Add a cup or two of the potato water, and bring to boil.

Reduce heat and add dried rosemary, thyme, sage.

Combine beans and stock into the stock pot.

Add Orzo and simmer until cooked and tender.

Will render a very thick stew. Traditionally, most burgoos should be thick enough that a spoon will stand freely in it. Peep, peeps.

Chuck Sudo/Chicagoist

And that was before I added the orzo. Use remaining stock to thin the stew if you like.

To serve, lay out a bed of the potatoes and ladle the burgoo over it. Add crushed red pepper for added spice.

Mushroom Fumet
I pound Baby Bella mushrooms
1 pound white onion
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 cup red wine
½ gallon vegetable stock1/3 cup heavy cream

Puree onions and mushrooms in food processor. In a 4-quart pot, heat oil. Add pureed mixture of onions and mushrooms and saute over medium heat until they are translucent, approximately 20 minutes. Add wine and reduce by half.Add vegetable stock and reduce entire mixture by a third. Thicken soup to desired consistency (I used a mixture of equal parts cornstarch and cold water). Add a little bit of thickener at a time and allow to cook before adding more, until you reach your desired consistency. Stir in the cream.