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Friday, January 20, 2012

Italian-style Butternut Squash Stew

Oh, my gosh, I made this stew on Wednesday, and I cannot stop eating it! In October, I attended a "Taste of Home Cooking Show" here in El Paso, and the chef made a stew called "Groundnut Stew," which smelled so good I have not gotten it out of my mind, so I found the recipe and decided to play with it a bit and put in some Italian stuff & some Mexican heat, and it is so good I have to share. From Mom I learned that soup is just a pot of leftovers mixed with love! We always had soup, or stew, on Thursdays, before meatless Fridays , and sometimes on Saturday, if the fridge was full of bowls. I happened to have a lot of Italian stuff in the fridge. Hope you try it and love it, too.
Ingredients:
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Dash of red pepper flakes
1 cup Italian sausage, cooked & crumbled
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 cups warm chicken stock
1 cup marinara sauce
I roasted red pepper, chopped
2 TBS green chile sauce
1/2 tsp. chipotle powder
2 cups red kidney beans, cooked
Salt & pepper to taste
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
3 tsp peanut butter
Method:
In a Dutch oven, soften onions in a bit of olive oil until they are getting brown; add the jalapeño and garlic and stir a few seconds until you smell the garlic; then add the crumbled sausage and stir some more to meld the favors. Now add the hot chicken stock, the marinara, squash cubes, green chile sauce, & kidney beans. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for about 25 minutes or until the squash is tender. Adjust the seasonings. If the stew is too thick, add some hot water: it will thicken with the pasta. Now take a bit of the soup and mix with the peanut butter and add to the soup. Add the cooked pasta and stir to warm the pasta. Bon appetit! Provecho!
I served this stew with homemade potato bread the first time, but it also tastes great with hot corn tortillas warmed & charred over the grill.
Note: I never cook pasta in the soup-- it gets mushy. When I re-heat the soup, I add more pasta each time.


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