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This is my favorite Romanian dish. It is popular in summer and during Ortodox lent, when hen you can't eat meat. The recipe can vary a lot....in the late summer people put in eggplant sometimes, in the earlier summer zucchini. Use what is best for the season. Make sure to follow the cooking order so that nothing gets too mushy. Serve this with rice. Some people even add a bit of rice towards the end of the cooking time.
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 4 -5 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
- 3 -4 medium bell peppers, seeded and chopped (any color)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use olive oil.)
- 1 small cabbage, sliced thinly
- 3 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped or 1 (14 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped and juices reserved
- 2 cups water
- 3 -4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 (12 ounce) package frozen peas
- 1⁄2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, minced
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- 1 -2 teaspoon paprika
Optional seasonal veggies
- 1 large eggplant (cubed, salted, and rinsed)
- 1 large zucchini (sliced)
- 1 small head cauliflower (broken into flowerets)
- 1 kohlrabi (peeled and cubed)
- Heat the oil in a large stewpot or Dutch oven.
- Add the onion, carrots, and peppers. Saute over medium heat until onions are transparent. (About 5 minutes).
- Add garlic, potatoes, and cabbage. If using kohlrabi add it now. Saute for about 3 minutes.
- Add water and tomatoes, salt and pepper, and thyme and paprika. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are almost tender.
- Add the other optional veggies (eggplant etc.) of your choice. Return to a boil, cover and simmer.
- Simmer, covered for about 20 more minutes or until the vegetables are soft and flavors have blended.
- Add frozen peas, fresh herbs, and lemon juice. Cook for five minutes with the cover on.
- Serve hot with rice. This is a treat!