Greens and Butternut Squash Stew

ordinary wind is winding(cold face blush
wind is winding here there tomorrow)(
graceful dove wind
theatrical scar wind
thunderclapclapclap(clapclapstrike)
struckwinding wind

-E.E. Cummings

Have you been eating tons of soup this winter?  We are averaging at least one homemade soup or stew-like meal each week.  Somehow this winter has left me craving the comforting presence of thick, aromatic broths opening my palate for slow-cooked flavors.  Today’s stew was far from a thunderclapclapclap.  It’s subtle, yet earthy warmth filled my body and restored my focus, certainly for the rest of the evening.

I began with soaking and pressuring cooking one cup of great northern white beans with 1/2 pound of shitake mushrooms.  I used the remaining broth for the soup.  If canned beans are more your thing, I adjusted the recipe just for you!

Swiss Chard and Butternut Squash White Bean Stew

1 onion, diced

Cook in a few T of oil until translucent

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 T tomato paste

1 t Chili powder

1 t paprika

1/2 t allspice

1/2 t dried sage

Add to onions and cook together a few minutes until fragrant.

1-2 diced carrots

2-3 stalks of celery

2-3c chopped greens (swiss chard, kale, spinach)

~2c butternut squash (I used 1/2 of a large squash)

1 diced turnip (I am still trying to get rid of these things!)

1/2 lb shitake mushrooms

2-3 c stock (can use any kind you prefer)

Add and cook until the squash is fork-tender.

1 can of white beans (great northern beans, cannellini, etc)

dusting of hard cheese; Parmesan, Romano, Grana Pandano, etc

Add and simmer a few more minutes

Serve with croutons and more hard cheese on top

Somehow a crusty, hard crouton, covered with melted cheese and partially soggy from the broth made all the days worries disappear.

A few hints.  I recently made something that called for a small amount of tomato paste and decided to freeze 1T servings of the rest of the can.  That way I didn’t waste the can and have servings ready when I need them.

Feel free to play with the winter veggies.  I had made butternut squash bisque recently for my book club and had leftover squash in the fridge.  Until the supply of turnips in my fridge is gone, I am quite certain that one will be in every soup/stew of the winter.

The croutons were made from a loaf of crusty sourdough bread, but could easily be made with a grocery store loaf of wheat bread.  Simply cut into cubes, drizzle with olive oil and bake at 350-400 until crusty and browned.  I usually do this while baking something else or in my toaster oven.

Lastly, you should really consider cooking beans from scratch.  They are far cheaper to purchase when dried and are pretty easy.  I decided I would make them for dinner tonight around noon, soaked until 6ish then used my pressure cooker for 12 minutes (plus cooling time).  The rich, starchy broth from the beans is far above store purchased stock as a soup base.

Find a soup/stew to fill with veggies and simple flavors.  Each spoonful is packed with vitamins to help you fight the wind and chill of winter.  Fill your evenings indoors, yet surrounded by loved ones.  Watch time slow and remember, that the tulips of spring,  sun-drenched days of summer, and crisp freshness of fall all prepare us to slow and enjoy the warmth of togetherness and hearty conversations of winter.

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5 thoughts on “Greens and Butternut Squash Stew

  1. Hi Guys!!! 🙂
    Starting to get my kitchen more vegetarian. Will try to make the squash stew, A, because I love squash and B ‘coz we have a ton of chicken broth. 🙂
    Let you know how it goes and big thanks for sharing this!
    Cheers,
    -P-

  2. I love to have stew dishes in a cold evening, the steam and the thick soup make the evening much warmer. Check out this recipe: potato-kale-stew. It’s delicious!

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