Lecsó: A Smoky, Vegetable Stew That’s Our Central European ‘Soul Food’

Made in a simmering pot – either over a modern stove or an open fire under the sun – lecsó is a peasant dish of vegetable stew jam-packed with tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic, as well as hunks of bacon and sausage for a dose of smokiness. It’s often served with wholegrain rye bread, but it also pairs well with noodles, rice, potatoes or polenta.

Despite its humble beginnings, it’s a dish that always packs a punch here at Mount Salem Kitchen, whether we’re serving it at the farm, as we did a few weeks ago, or if our customers are eating it at home, since we offer it as a to-go frozen meal for $15 for two servings.

Central European character in every bite

That’s because this is no ordinary stew. Each vegetable’s flavor profile is highlighted in every bite, which is only exacerbated by the rendered bacon and sausage. It’s truly a Central European’s soul food.

And like all soul food, the character of the dish comes through even to those who couldn’t be less Central European, too. Our visitors, even those who try it cautiously, usually finish their first spoonful with a whisper of “boy, that’s good.”

Our favorite foods: A Simple, Perfect Pairing at Mount Salem Vineyards

To make ours, we use local produce when it is in season, as well as locally-raised bacon and sausage. Actually, we have a whole hog on the way at this moment.

In American culture, stews are only for freezing temperatures, but Central Europeans have a secret. This dish – which is delicious no matter the month – is perfect for the warm days when served with a piece of wholegrain bread. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to reheat at home. Simply pour it into a saucepan with ½ cup of water, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, and dinner is on the table.

Get your frozen lecsó to-go by contacting us at 908-735-9359 or

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