After the mushrooms were done, they got to hang out on a plate while I made the rest of the stew. I added diced onions, carrots, and red pepper to the pan to soften slightly. Next I added some veggie stock, dried thyme, and tomato paste, and then covered the pot to simmer for several minutes. I skipped the bay leaf last night, having learned from my mom that husbands tend not to enjoy when the leaf ends up in their bowl!
When the veggies were soft, I added red kidney beans and red wine, again letting everything simmer together for a few minutes. Cornstarch dissolved in water makes the sauce thick, and the mushrooms add a little extra “meatiness” in addition to some yummy juices. It was perfect served over some wide noodles and accompanied by a slice of homemade bread. I’m not sure I ever had the beef version of this dish in my pre-veggie days, but I can’t imagine it would be any yummier than this vegan version!