Fall Vegetable Saffron Stew

Serves 6


2 teaspoons (a hearty pinch) saffron

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 stalks celery

3 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1 tablespoon olive oil, or enough to cover bottom of pan

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon chile pepper flakes, or more to taste

1 pinch kosher salt

4 cups chicken or veggie broth

4 small yellow potatoes, cubed

1-2 small winter squash, such as butternut or buttercup, peeled and cubed

3 cups cooked chickpeas (canned chickpeas can be used-rinse for lower sodium)

8 large leaves (4 cups) winter greens, such as collards, Swiss chard or kale

— Saffron aioli, for garnish (recipe follows)


Grind the saffron threads in a mortar and pestle or with your fingers. Take ¼ cup of warm broth and add saffron to bloom. Set aside.

In a large soup pot heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook over medium-low heat, adding spices and salt, for 5 minutes. Add broth, cubed potatoes, cubed winter squash and chickpeas as well as the bloomed saffron with its liquid. Cover and bring stew to a simmer.

Julienne the greens (chop fine at a diagonal) and add to the stew after it has simmered for 10 minutes. Cook until carrots and squash are tender, about 15-20 minutes longer.

Serve in a rustic bowl, with crusty bread and drizzles of aioli on top.

Saffron Aioli

Makes about 2 cups

4 garlic cloves

— Salt, to taste

1 pinch saffron (bloomed in 1 tablespoon of 200-degree water for 15 minutes)

2 egg yolks

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon Dijon

2 cups good extra-virgin olive oil

In a mortar and pestle, crush the garlic with the salt. In a mixing bowl add the crushed garlic/salt and add all the other ingredients except for oil. Drizzle in oil very slowly while emulsifying.

Recipe by Melinda Price.