It's that time of year with frost on the windows in the morning, snow on the boots in the evening, and a knitted cap on every head. Winter has arrived in earnest, and not the friendly ginger-spiced holiday-themed winter of December; it's the long, bitter, double-up-on-socks winter of January and February.
These are the months for soup, and Stir It Up! has the perfect collection of recipes. Brighten up long dark nights and chilly lunches with bowls of ham and corn chowder, sweet potato and apple soup, or winter squash and bean stew.
So grab a few bowls, and maybe a few friends, and ladle up something warm tonight.
By Samantha Mils, Novel Eats
This recipe is taken from the Hubbard Squash and Pinto Bean Stew found on MyRecipes.com
Note: One nice thing about this recipe is that it does not require the use of a slow-cooker if you do not have one, although I am sure this would also cook nicely in one.
3 cups dried pinto beans
4 cups water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium-sized onions, chopped
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled hubbard squash or fresh pumpkin
1 cup peeled and sliced carrot, about two medium-sized carrots
1 tablespoon chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped (for a gluten-free recipe, you can substitute about 1 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, undrained
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons pumpkin-seed kernels, toasted (optional)
Sort and wash pinto beans. Check out my post on how to cook dry beans to learn how to sort and wash beans, although you do not need to follow the remaining steps for this stew recipe.
Place the beans in a large pot, and cover with water to about two inches above the beans. Boil them for two minutes, turn off the heat and then allow them to sit for about two hours.
Drain and rinse the pinto beans, then combine them and four cups of water in a large pan, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Cover and simmer an additional 30 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, prep your squash, carrots and onions. Take care while chopping your squash – refer to my post on hubbard squash risotto to see how I recommend cutting open the squash as well as chopping the actual squash meat.
Cut up about two chipotle peppers from your can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.
Important: If you are following a gluten-free diet, I discovered that this can of chipotle peppers is not gluten-free. It contains flour, likely to thicken the sauce. I do not know if there is a gluten-free version of this product out on the market, but I imagine that you can use chipotle pepper powder as a substitute.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, squash, carrot, and chipotle peppers. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add to bean mixture, then stir in sage, thyme, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until squash is tender. Stir in salt.
Ladle the stew into individual bowls, then sprinkle with pumpkin seed kernels (if using) – and serve.
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