Thursday, January 23, 2014

Smoked Squash & White Bean Stews

More white bean stews -- didn't mean to do that, but these stews are too good to hold off on posting until later, and they are both quite different than the one posted earlier.  So no true apologies from me!

First up, a wonderful, colorful, hearty stew. The original recipe uses dry beans.  A totally fine way to go if you have the time.  I did not, however make the time to use dried bean so I used canned instead and it came out fine.

We loved the smoky flavor of this dish due to the fire-roasted tomatoes, smoked paprika, and a little liquid smoke at the end to round things out just a little more.  The little boys loved this stew, which surprised me a little, but I was happy about it none-the-less!  Kids gobbling up squash and kale will make me smile any ole time.

White Bean & Squash Stew with Kale
serves 6-8
  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 1 lg red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 TBLS minced garlic
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 3 cans great northern white beans, rinse and drain
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed (1/2 in).  about 4 cups
  • 4 cups packed, chopped, kale
  • 1 TBLS smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/4 - 1/2 tsp liquid smoke (optional, and start with 1/4 tsp and then taste before using more)
  • salt and pepper to taste
-- Saute onion and bell pepper til soft
-- Add garlic, saute 1-2 more minutes
-- Add broth, tomatoes, beans, squash, and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes until squash is soft
-- Add chopped kale, stir and heat through til wilted

ALTERNATIVE -- use 2 cans of white kidney beans instead of the three cans of great northern.  Use 4 cups chopped broccoli florets instead of kale (only add it in after the bell peppers and cook until bright green.  Then proceed as directed.)

If you don't have all the ingredients to make the first stew, then try this next Smoked Squash & White Bean stew.  We loved this one almost more, even with it being so simple.  It can use pumpkin if you can still find them, or any other winter squash -- butternut being my favorite.

I would highly suggest doubling this recipe.  It only serves 3 to 4, and with the time it takes, you might as well make enough for delicious leftovers!  The use of liquid smoke in the recipe is a must.  If you don't have some on your shelf, go out, spend the $3 for a bottle that will last you a couple years, and then get busy making this stew.

I served it with a side of roasted cauliflower and seasoned barley, but next time I'll go with a green vegetable for more color.

Smoked Squash & White Bean Stew
serves 3-4
  • 1 1/2 lbs sugar pumpkin or butternut squash.  Peel and cube (1 in).  6 cups worth.
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
  • 1 can canellini beans, rinse and drain (in a pinch, you can use Great Northern, but they're a little on the small side for this dish)
  • 1 TBLS red wine
-- Saute pumpkin or squash (with choice of oil, broth, or water) in a large skiller until browned and starting to soften.  About 10 minutes.
-- Add broth, spices, smoke, and simmer until soft.  6-8 minutes.  Stir occasionally.
-- Add beans and wine and heat through.

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