Monday, November 14, 2011

Aromatic Butternut Squash Stew

Aromatic Butternut Squash Stew
I am continuing my love affair with the humble squash and here's my latest offering. This is a very versatile stew; you could switch in any number of other vegetables (but stick with the squash, please) and it will still taste great because of the combination of spices. I used the newest ingredient to my pantry; Saigon Cinnamon. I was keen to try it out in something, but you could absolutely replace this with regular cinnamon.

The recipe I used as a base was vegetarian but I added a little chicken sausage for an extra bite. Honestly, the meat is really not necessary to make this recipe a success; just use what you have and go for it! I do think this would make a great side dish for Thanksgiving. It fits my criteria for a restful Thanksgiving; you can make it ahead and simply warm it up. Like many a stew, the flavors even improve over a day or two.

Just one caveat; the photo above was taken after simmering 20 minutes longer that I would have liked. Hey, it was the witching hour in this house and I forgot to turn the stove off after a final taste. I have to say, that although the squash was a little mushier than I might choose, the stew was still utterly delicious. A very forgiving recipe.

Aromatic Butternut Squash Stew
loosely based on a food network kitchens recipe


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 fully cooked chicken sausages, cut lengthwise and chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 14 1/2 oz canned tomatoes (whatever you have on hand)
  • 1/4 teaspoon saigon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium butternut squash , peeled and cut into approx1-inch cubes
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed ( I used cannellini beans but chickpeas would be better)
  • 3 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • the zest of 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups of frozen corn, thawed
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a small handful of breadcrumbs (optional according to how you like your stew consistency)
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan and add cook the onions on medium heat for about 10 minutes
  2. Add the garlic and sausage and cook a further 3-4 minutes
  3. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, coriander, cumin and red pepper flakes and cook a further 3-4 minutes
  4. Add the broth, squash, chickpeas, zest and raisins and simmer with the lid half on, for approx 20 minutes or until the squash is tender but still has a bite. 
  5. Finally add the corn and lime juice and warm through.
  6. Add a sprinkling of breadcrumbs if the stew seems a little watery (optional)
  7. This is delicious served with couscous but, as always with a stew, crusty bread would be a winner too.
A note on the recipe:
Vegetable switch-ins which would work nicely include; fresh spinach, shelled edamame or peas. 


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