A pot of stew simmering on the stove makes a tasty meal on a cool autumn evening. Stew is created by cooking a variety of ingredients in liquid to create gravy. Ingredients in a stew can include any combination of vegetables and may include meat, especially tougher meats suitable for slow-cooking, such as beef, poultry, sausages or seafood.

Mom’s Basic Vegetable Beef Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil, or as needed

2 onions, roughly chopped and divided

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4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch rounds

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon Greek seasoning (such as Cavender's)

1 pinch dried rosemary

1 pinch ground thyme

1 pinch dried basil

1 pinch Italian seasoning

1 bay leaf

salt and ground black pepper to taste

32-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice

1 pound ground beef

4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks

1/4 head of chopped cabbage or 1 stalk chopped celery

Pour enough olive oil into a large stockpot to coat the bottom. Add onion, carrots, garlic, red pepper flakes, Greek seasoning, rosemary, thyme, basil, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Cook and stir onion mixture over medium heat until onion is softened and lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Pour diced tomatoes over onion mixture. Add ground beef, breaking apart with a wooden spoon and stir. Bring liquid to a boil and cook until ground beef is cooked through and carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.

Stir potatoes, remaining onion, and celery into tomato mixture and cook until potatoes are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove stock pot from heat and let sit, 20 to 30 minutes.

Russell’s Fish Stew

1/4 cup olive oil

4 stalks celery

1/2 onion, diced

3 medium carrots, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

14-ounce can stewed tomatoes

2 cups 1/2 water

1 cup white wine

8-ounce bottle clam juice

1/4 cup sherry

2 cubes chicken bouillon

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 bunch cilantro

1/2 pound medium shrimp - peeled and deveined

1/2 pound white fish, cut into small chunks

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Mix in the celery, onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook and stir until the onion is tender. Stir in the tomatoes, water, wine, clam juice, and sherry. Dissolve bouillon cubes in the stew, and season with red pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour.

Mix the cilantro, shrimp, and fish into the stew. Continue cooking 5 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and fish is easily flaked. Remove from heat, and allow to sit 10 minutes before serving.

Chicken Stew With Dumplings

1 (3-pound) rotisserie chicken

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, diced

2 ribs celery, sliced thin

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

3/4 pound new potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup milk, or more as needed

2 tablespoons dried dill

De-bone chicken and cut into chunks or shred. Set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and celery until soft, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons flour and whisk continuously to make a thick roux, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in chicken broth, whisking to remove any lumps. Add 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, basil, thyme, potatoes, and mixed vegetables. Cover and cook the stew over medium heat until vegetables are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in chicken meat and continue to simmer.

Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Cut in 3 tablespoons of butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in milk and dill. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of dough into the simmering stew. Cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Cover and cook until the dumplings are tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.

Vegetarian Tortilla Stew

19-ounce can green enchilada sauce

1 1/2 cups water

1 cube vegetable bouillon

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

16-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 cup vegetarian chicken substitute, diced

4 (6-inch) corn tortillas, torn into strips

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro

salt and pepper to taste

In a pot, mix the enchilada sauce and water. Dissolve the bouillon cube in the liquid, and season with garlic powder, chile powder, and cumin. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Mix in the beans, tomatoes, and corn. Simmer until heated through. Mix in vegetarian chicken and tortillas, and cook until heated through. Stir in cilantro, and season with salt and pepper to serve.