Butter. Cream. Cheese. We need some time apart. A few days to ourselves. I’m not breaking up with you or anything; my pants just need a break here. Was it was the 16 servings of mac and cheese that finally tipped the calorie barrel? Or could it have been the 3 cups of butter washed down by a quart of homemade ice cream? Or perhaps it was this hulk of a birthday cake that finally tipped the scales? Yowza.
Anyways, I figured my diet needed a little vegetable intervention. Enter today’s recipe: a hearty kuri squash and bean stew inspired by this recipe on 101 Cookbooks, albeit seriously modified to suit the ingredients I had on hand. The result is a savory, spicy, and filling meal that won’t leave you in need of a nap.
I think the best part about the stew here (besides the veggies) is that it’s something different for winter squash. We’ve been talking at work lately about the American (and Canadian) inclination to make all winter squash sweeter than it already is with the addition of maple syrup, brown sugar, and the like. We have some great butternut squash grown at Czajkowski Farm inHadley, MA on the BPS lunch menu as part of Farm to School which we roast with a little brown sugar. Most kids like it (ok, those who are willing to try a vegetable), but children whose families have immigrated recently are generally perplexed by something so sweet as part of a savory meal.
As much as I love a little butter and sugar on my squash, it’s nice to take a break every now and then, and this stew is a great diversion for any winter squash you have on hand (I used kuri, but butternut or acorn would work too.) You get all the natural sweetness of the squash, beans, and onions, foiled by the acidity of the tomatoes and the smoky-spice of the chipotle.
Makes one large pot of stew, which serves 8-10.
Spicy Kuri Squash and Bean Stew
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- ½ large kuri squash (or one small), peeled, cored, diced in 1 inch cubes – you can substitute another winter squash of your liking, you’ll want about 4-5 cups chopped
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes (or use whole canned tomatoes and crush them yourself!)
- 1 quart water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 2 to 4 tbsp canned chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped (I used 4 tbsp for a pleasantly spicy stew, use less or more depending on your taste.)
- 3 cups cooked beans of your choice, or use canned (I went with small red beans)
- 1 bunch kale, washed, stemmed, and roughly chopped
- Steamed rice or cous cous to serve
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft and aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and the squash and sauté another 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes, water, salt and pepper, cinnamon, coriander, and chipotle. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer 20 minutes or until the squash is tender. At this point, I mashed about half of my squash, leaving some whole, into the stew using a fork. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or chipotle as needed.
Bring your stew back to a boil and add the beans and kale. Cover again and cook 5 minutes until the kale is tender and wilted. Serve over steamed rice or cous cous.