2½ cups baby potatoes, quartered (or about 2-3 regular potatoes, cut into chunks)
½ cup tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. brown sugar
¾ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the celery, onion, and garlic. Sauté until onion becomes translucent and begins to brown, about 5 minutes.
Sprinkle in the potato flakes and stir well to coat the veggies, cooking for about another minute.
Add 2 cups vegetable broth, mixing it in well.
Add the beer, the remaining veggies, tomato paste, and spices.
Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until veggies are fork-tender, but not overly mushy.
This Rustic Irish stew should be thick, and you can sub the potato flakes for flour as a thickener. If you like a thinner stew, add 1 to 2 more cups of vegetable broth. Remove bay leaf before serving, and serve hot with some crusty bread.