When you have a bunch of friends with a variety of dietary needs, sometimes you end up realizing that cooking vegan is the way to go for the potluck.
This is a recipe that I’ve used several times over the years, and honestly, it’s a little different each time. So, whatever I write here is mainly a suggestion, and you are welcome to add or remove things to your own taste! It’s a really versatile recipe and it stores really well in the freezer.
This recipe uses most of the pre-packaged sizes you can find in the supermarket, and it can stretch across 10 people, or many meals, which has become quite a personal go-to for easy meal prepping too.
2 lb bag of carrots
4 white onions
1 whole bulb of garlic
16-20 oz of fresh mushrooms (Pick your favorites! I like white and baby bella.)
6 oz can of tomato paste
28 oz can of diced/crushed tomatoes
32 oz box of vegetable stock (or homemade stock if you have it!)
Other vegetables you can include: bell peppers, celery, cabbage, whatever sweats well (releases liquid) while cooking.
Seasonings (all to taste):
Dice everything (carrots, onions, garlic, mushrooms, other vegetables) as small as possible. This is the longest part of the recipe. So as you chop vegetables, do a quick check-in with your body, how is it feeling? Have you been kind to it lately? Tip 1: If you have a food processor, you could also gently pulse the vegetables so they are in small pieces. Don’t go overboard though; we’re not making soup. Tip 2: Aside from the garlic and mushrooms, all the other ingredients can be kept together.
Get a large pot going on your stove and pour in ~1-2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Once the oil is hot, lightly sauté the garlic. Once the garlic gets a little aromatic, add all the diced vegetables (carrots, onions, other vegetables). Keep heat to a medium-low and allow the vegetables to sweat (~10 mins) while stirring occasionally.
Once you see there’s a pool of liquid forming in your pot, add the diced mushrooms, continue to let it sweat. (~5 mins).
When mushrooms start looking tender, add vegetable stock to the pot. Raise heat and let boil.
When boiling, stir in tomato paste and diced/crushed tomatoes. Add 1-2 bay leaves.
Season to taste with the rest of the seasonings.
And there you have a vegetable ragu! You can serve it with your favorite pastas (shoutout to the Barilla Spotify account that has playlists of music that help keep track of boiling time for that perfect al dente) or any other base carbohydrate you prefer, like bread or rice.