Saturday, October 19, 2019

Entry 32: Foods of Thedas - Fereldan Turnip Barley Stew

Image Description: A bowl of colorful, freshly made Fereldan Turnip Stew accented with a green napkin, kale leaves,
onion, and for and spoon.

"Fereldan Turnip" is a common phrase, or insult, thrown around throughout the Dragon Age franchise. It is meant as a derogatory term for a person from Ferelden. It is about as common as "Dog Lord." To which I have two comebacks in the form of questions:

1) What's so bad about being a lord of doggos?

And 2) considering they are an excellent source of fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C, what's so wrong with being a turnip?

I was entirely unsurprised to find a turnip recipe in the World of Thedas Volume 2 cookbook but was pleasantly surprised to find it can be easily made vegan. And per my usual style, I modified the recipe further to incorporate more flavor and hearty goodness expected from warm, delicious stews.

To begin, I cleaned my counters, put away my clean dishes, and arranged my ingredients: turnips, white beans, canola or vegetable oil, white onion, carrots, celery, garlic bulb, Field Roast Grain Meat sausages, Italian flavor, peal barley, ground cumin, dried oregano, and salt and pepper. I also used Better Than Bouillon vegetable base to make this stew as flavorful as possible.

Image Description: An arrangement if Fereldan Turnip Stew ingredients, minus the oil and Better Than Bouillon,
placed on a decorative tea towel.

And then I took time to take lovely pictures of my ingredients for you, dear reader, to enjoy. I live to serve, and not just food.

Image Description: An arrangement of five turnips on a wood cutting board.

Turnips are one of those vegetables I turned my nose up to consistently as a kid but I realize in my adulthood they can be used in a variety of ways and made quite delicious. I have glazed them with brown sugar, for example, and they were quite satisfactory. They are easy to wash, peel and dice. In this stew they work well with the barley, beans and other vegetables to make a hearty, filling stew that is excellent for lunch for the week or to serve to a group.

Image Description: An arrangement of two turnips, one peeled, one peeled and diced, on a wood cutting board.

The mainstays for any good soup or stew recipe: garlic, onion, carrot, and celery.

Image Description: A collage of two images. Top: A garlic bulb next to an onion on a
wood cutting board. Bottom: Four carrots and 2 celery ribs on a wood cutting board.

For the white beans, the recipe in the World of Thedas Volume 2 cookbook states beans should be soaked overnight and uncooked. But this leads to a very long cooking time. Also it means you have to remember to soak your beans overnight, which I never do. So I used my kitchen magic in the form of my Instant Pot. Instead of soaking the beans, I cooked them on the manual setting for 25 minutes with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, then let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes on the warm setting. The apple cider vinegar helps break up the bean cell walls for easier digestion. Canned beans will work just as well as freshly cooked beans.

The three major deviations from this recipe are the Better Than Bouillon vegetable base, the Field Roast Grain Meat sausages (or seitan), and the kale.

Better Than Bouillon base is an excellent flavor booster for many recipes. Regular Bouillon vegetable broth cubes or powder will work too, but this vegetable base kicks up the flavor of the stew tremendously.

Image Description: a jar of Better Than Bouillon Seasoned Vegetable Base on a white tea towel.

Any kind of seitan, homemade or store bought, will work for the stew but I have a special love for Field Roast sausages. The Apple Sage and the Italian flavors are my favorite, and it was hard to pick between the two for this recipe. I settled on the Italian flavor though because it adds a unique spicy taste to the base flavors. Feel free to try either the Apple Sage or Italian flavor if you have Field Roast products available near you. Or you can see my seitan recipe to make your own! (It's an older entry when I didn't quite have my style or wording nailed down, but the recipe checks out.)
Image Description: A collage of two images. Top: Two Field Roast Grain Meat Italian flavor
sausages diced. Bottom: An unopened package of Field Roast Gran Meat sausages.

As for the kale, well, I like kale. My choice to add chopped kale was on a whim. And it was a good choice as it added some much needed color (aesthetics matter, folks) and additional nutrition. Kale is loaded with Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and compliments turnips well.

Image Description: A downward facing image of three kale leaves bunched together, one kale leaf chopped next to its stem and a kitchen knife on a wood cutting board.

And what a beautiful, delicious stew all of this makes.

Image Description: A large, black pot filled with cooked Fereldan Turnip Stew accented with a wooden spoon.

Exceptionally healthy, easy to make, and darn pretty in a bowl.

Image Description: A close up image bowl of colorful, freshly made Fereldan Turnip Stew accented with a
wooden spoon showing off how good cooked turnips can look.

I hope you give this Thedosian stew a try!

Fereldan Turnip Barley Stew

Prep time: 30 to 45 minutes*
Cook time: 55 to 60 minutes
Yields: 12 to 14 servings

1 cup white beans, cooked or canned, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 medium-sized white onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 garlic bulb, peeled and diced
8 cups of water plus 8 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
1 pound turnips, peeled and diced
2 Field Roast Grain Meat sausages, Italian flavor, diced
1 cup peal barley, rinsed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 kale leaves, chopped

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Cook onion and garlic until slightly fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Then add carrots and celery, cook until slightly tender, stirring occasionally, about more 5 minutes. Add turnips, beans, vegan sausage, water and vegetable base. Scrape the bottom of the pot gently and stir until Bouillon base is dissolved. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes or until beans are cooked and soft. Stir in peal barley and seasonings, re-cover and simmer for another 10 minutes. Finally, stir in kale, re-cover and allow to cook for 5 minutes. Remove pot from heat, stir, and allow to rest uncovered for 5 minutes. Ladle into bowls and serve with additional salt and pepper if desired.

Store stew in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Stew will keep for 7 to 10 days. For long term storage, store in an airtight container in the freezer; stew will keep for 3 weeks. To thaw, defrost on a counter overnight or defrost in a microwave before reheating through and serving.

Additional Notes:
The beans and pearl barley will continue to soak up the liquid after cooking, making leftovers very thick. To thin stew out, add hot water or additional vegetable broth.
For a gluten-free version, replace 1 cup of pearl barley with 1 cup of quinoa.

*Prep time dependent on how fast you can dice. I am a slow dicer and like listening to Ghil Dirthalen read codex entries while cooking so prep takes longer for me.

If you make and enjoy this delicious stew or try out any of my other Dragon Age-themed recipes, please post and share pictures on social media. Use the hashtag (#)FoodsofThedas!

Walk always in the Maker's light.

Like what you are reading? Great! Come back for a new entry on the third Thursday of each month (mostly). And have a look at my previous entries for other recipes, and Dragon Age-related trivia and oddities!

Have any friendly suggestions or cool ideas? Want me to veganize your favorite recipe? Please comment below. You can also email me at, message me at AGSamuels on Reddit, or tweet me at @FoodsofThedas on Twitter. You can also follow me on Instagram, @foodsofthedas.

Foods of Thedas, formerly Gourmet Vegan Thedas.



Dragon Age: World of Thedas Volume 2.

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