From a nutrition standpoint, I’ve never felt bad about using frozen vegetables; I’ve always believed (and new studies back me up) that vegetables that are frozen just after harvest actually retain more nutrients than fresh vegetables that have been shipped long distances. In the winter months, when the only fresh, local produce I can get are the collards in my garden, frozen vegetables are a healthy alternative. From a taste standpoint, frozen vegetables wouldn’t be my first choice for steaming or stir-frying, but they taste just fine in soups and stews where their texture doesn’t need to be crisp.
This recipe, like most of my “ridiculously easy” recipes, was never meant to be shared on this blog. I just wanted something hot for lunch, and I started tossing frozen and canned ingredients together to taste. Somewhere along the line, probably when I added a turnip my mother recently gave me, I stopped thinking of this as a variation on my Dirty Little Secret Soup and as a recipe in its own right. It’s not succotash, but the lima beans and corn are reminiscent of that dish, while the okra and turnips give it a little Southern flair. Give it a try, but don’t be stingy with the Creole seasoning, which makes this homely stew something to sing—or blog—about.
Southern Succotash Stew
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 12 ounces baby lima beans, fresh or frozen
- 12 ounces frozen soup vegetables (mixture of carrots, corn, peas, green beans, etc.)
- 6 ounces okra, sliced, fresh or frozen
- 6 ounces green beans, fresh or frozen, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
- 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 large turnip, peeled and diced (may substitute potato)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning (or more to taste)
- 7-9 cups hot water or vegetable broth
- In a large soup pot, sauté onion until soft. Add remaining ingredients along with 7 cups of the water or broth. Cook until turnips and other vegetables are tender, about 1 hour, adding more liquid as needed. Check seasoning, adding more Creole seasoning and salt to taste.
Serving Suggestion: Stir in a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to each bowl just before serving.
Cooking time (duration): 70 minutes
Number of servings (yield): 6
Nutrition (per serving): 173 calories, 7 calories from fat, less than 1g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 482.9mg sodium, 804.6mg potassium, 35.8g carbohydrates, 10.7g fiber, 5.6g sugar, 9.1g protein, 2.7 points.
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