Today's recipe came from Food Network and you can find the original recipe here. I am finding more meatless dishes to add to our week.
Slow-Cooker Squash Stew - 4 servings
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Slow-cooker time: 8 hours
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water and then rinsed - use 2 cans of chickpeas if dried not available (which is what I used as I couldn't find the dried in my supermarket)
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces (or buy pre-cubed butternut squash from the supermarket if available)
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and roughly chopped
1 piece Parmesan Cheese rind, plus grated Parmesan for garnish (optional)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Your favorite crusty bread and/or lemon wedges, for serving
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.
Stir in 1/2 cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a 6-quart slow cooker.
Add the chickpeas, squash, chard stems (not the leaves), the Parmesan rind, if using, 2 teaspoons salt and 7 cups water to the slow cooker.
Stir and cover; cook on low for 8 hours.
Just before serving, lift the lid and stir in the chard leaves; cover and continue cooking 10 more minutes.
Season with salt and pepper, and stir to slightly break up the squash.
Discard the Parmesan rind, if used.
Ladle the stew into bowls; top with the grated Parmesan if using, and serve with bread and/or lemon wedges.
If you have been following my Monday recipe posts, you'll see that I always add my own notes below each recipe. This is for our own benefit to read what we might change or add the next time that recipe is made, because we forget truth be told. I guess what I am trying to say is, I don’t expect you to read through all my ramblings. If you do end up making this, you will probably add your own thoughts, but then again I hope my notes may be of some help.
Our son was over on the day I cooked this. We all enjoyed it and the guys are totally honest about their food. They let me know if it isn’t their cup of tea - I prefer it that way - and this was without a doubt a thumb's up with them, and they had seconds. I always try to make food I know they will enjoy, but sometimes I will slip something new into a dish - new to us - as in this case butternut squash, swiss chard and chickpeas. Our daughter-in-law has introduced many new healthy foods to our son, and I will often take note and put something different on our shopping list.
I wasn’t able to get the dried chickpeas, so used 2 cans instead (along with their liquid). I needn’t have worried about them being too soft at the end of the 8-hour cooking time. I could have added them later for just enough time to heat through, at the same time as adding the Swiss Chard leaves, but didn’t want any extra steps that day. If it didn't work out there would always be a next time. Happily the chickpeas kept their firmness.
The broth was thinner than the other soups or stews I have made. Maybe if I used the dried peas they would have thickened it, maybe. That being said, it was delicious and tasted even better the next day.
I added the Parmesan rind - yummy because I used four small bite-size pieces of rind and accidentally ate a piece thinking it was a vegetable as it turned the color of the butternut squash and although very nice was a little chewy, so be careful - yes I'm rambling. I also grated up extra for serving on top of our first meal, but the next day added sour cream and it was also yummy.
Though I normally like to buy produce whole, I found it hard to cut up the butternut squash. My hands don't work as well as they used to (my guys were in the middle of a project and I didn't want to bother them). Next time I might try getting the pre-cut chunks available at the supermarket. Those convenience packets do make the task a whole lot easier.
This is the first time I have prepared and eaten swiss chard. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy it again as we all enjoyed it in this stew. Substitutions could be kale or spinach or cabbage.
I also put the tomato paste and crushed pepper together in a small dish, and placed them in the fridge the night before. What was left in the can I measured out 1 tablespoon amounts onto a piece of parchment paper, flash froze them and once frozen wrapped them up a freezer bag. They will be ready for another recipe requiring tomato paste. When I was a school girl my Domestic Science teacher nicknamed me the Flour Queen. If she needed a new nickname for me today she would call me the Freeze Queen.
The night before I meal-prepped and measured out most of the ingredients, put in small bowls, covered them and placed what I needed in the fridge. It made for an easy start to the morning, putting everything into the slow-cooker when I got up. The finished meal was on the table for an early dinner at four in the afternoon.
When we had enjoyed two more meals, most of the vegetables had been eaten but I had 2 cups of broth left. This I put it in the freezer, for when we need vegetable broth for another recipe. I think this was a very tasty broth and would add a lot to the next soup we make.
If you don’t have a slow cooker it could be adapted for cooking on the stove top. Just check on how long it would take to cook the dried chickpeas if using.
We looked at these photos and both said they turned out darker than the actual stew. I took them in the evening when the lighting was quite dim. Lesson learned and ramble over with!
Thanks for visiting and have a great week.
And yes, I have had trouble chopping butternut squash too. I now have a webeque knife which makes it safe and easy. In the past I have resorted to throwing the squash hard on the deck and picking up (and washing of course) the much smaller pieces.
A great way to get a pumpkin into workable pieces :) Your webeque knife sounds interesting.Delete
Sound good food.ReplyDelete
Thank you Margaret :)Delete
Looks yummy! Don't have a slow cooker though.ReplyDelete
I'm sure you can make this in a regular soup pot Ginny, and just cook the vegetables until they are tender. The canned chickpeas take hardly any time at all to heat through. I'll have to try it that way myself and see :)Delete
I love comforting meals like this, perfect for Fall!ReplyDelete
I agree Natalie :)Delete
Hi Denise thankyou for sharing your recipe with us,take care my friend xxReplyDelete
Hello White Rose, you are very welcome. So nice of you to call me a friend, I will return the sentiment and say you take care also my friend :)Delete
Deve de ser delicioso.ReplyDelete
Um abraço e boa semana.
Dedais de Francisco e Idalisa
O prazer dos livros
Foi delicioso :) Um abraço e uma boa semana continuada para vocês também.Delete
Sounds delicious, thanks for sharing!
Take care, enjoy your day! Have a great new week!
Hello Eileen, you are very welcome and I wish you the same :)Delete
this looks and sounds very good. i read and enjoyed your ramblings, i love sour cream in soups like theses, otherwise , bread is all you need!!ReplyDelete
i love cooking for my family, i love the rain, i am sure i was a duck in another life!!
Hi Debbie, so glad you enjoyed. You're right, bread is hard to beat and I also love to cook for my family. Both ducks in another life then? :)Delete
This looks wonderful!ReplyDelete
Thank you Christine :)Delete
It looks and sounds so good! Next time if you put a couple of slits in the squash and microwave it for 3-5 minutes it makes it much easier to cut. I do that with all squash now. Have a great week! :)ReplyDelete
Hi Martha and thank you so much for that great tip. I will try that next time. I still have a butternut squash in the fridge. Thank you, and you have a great week also :)Delete
Thank you Ashok :)Delete
It's always appreciated to get some notes from the one who has tried the recipe. Looks good!ReplyDelete
Hi Ellen, so glad you think so, thank you :)Delete
We have everything in the garden so this is a must for later in the week. Thanks, yum yum. Have a good week DianeReplyDelete
Wonderful and thank you Diane, you have a good week also :)Delete
Have a nice day!ReplyDelete
Thank you Anne, you too :)Delete
Delicious and looks delicious dark or light it's really looks like something I would love so I sent your blog to my email so I can read it later and see if I can figure out how to make itReplyDelete
Thanks Sandra, and I hope you enjoy it :)Delete
I love reading the ramblings as you call them on your stew, Denise. It's very smart of you to keep notes for future reference. I often write notes on recipes in my folders( that desperately need organizing)! Parmesan rind is so good in soups, isn't it? Good to know it's still enjoyable if not removed. Love hearing you are the Freeze Queen! So cute.ReplyDelete
Thank you so much Martha Ellen, I appreciate that. Yes the Parmesan leaves a lovely flavor and I enjoy eating it. Like a little surprise nugget in your bowl :)Delete
It's actually a bit hot in Hawaii for soup, but when I saw your photos I wanted some anyway.ReplyDelete
Hi Kay, when it's hot here I wouldn't want to eat soup but I was thinking about India and how they eat curry. I would love someone to come here and tell me if what I learned years ago was correct, that if a dish is hot it opens the pores and cools you down. Wives tale? Not sure. I need some expert advice :)Delete
Yumm ...I know I’ve already told you we’re also building up our vegetarian recipe file, so this an excellent addition. I would definitely need to get the pre-cut squash. We used to grow Swiss Chard (in our former life) and still like it a lot, but it is hard to find in the Farm Markets, I’m not sure why because here it grows like zuchinni! So we used to eat it a lot back then, even with a big family!ReplyDelete
That makes me happy that you like the look of this recipe Sallie, thank you :) Interesting about the Swiss Chard. I'm only just taking note of it. I made another recipe as I still had a bunch left in the fridge uncooked. I will share also sometime.Delete
So perfect for the Autumn/Fall.ReplyDelete
All the best Jan