Sweet Happy Life

Butternut Squash Stew for Winter Nights

Butternut Squash Stew

Our fridge broke a month ago and it’s times like this I start to wonder how I made it through my college years. I say this because we have been using my tiny fridge from college for four weeks now. 4 weeks! It pretty much fits the munchkin’s milk, his yogurt, his cheese sticks and some orange juice. That. is. it.

But, there is a bright side. Operating without a fridge has done wonders for my meal planning skills. Anything that needs to be refrigerated must be used pronto, so nothing languishes in the back of the fridge these days. I’ve also gotten in touch with my inner frontier woman by burying groceries in a tub of snow when I can’t start cooking straight away. (Yes, really.)

Another plus: we’ve rediscovered some delicious one-pot meals! This butternut squash stew is one of them. I originally posted the recipe six years ago on my previous blog and it was a weekly favorite then. But you know how it is, somehow you forget about dishes over time.

Filled with things like butternut squash, rosemary and tomatoes, this stew is easy to make and will make your home smell amazing. It’s the sort of rustic meal that really hits the spot. The munchkin was dubious at first but once we showed him how to dip bread in it he was sold. What is it with preschoolers and dipping things?

If you have winter weather headed your way soon, a steaming bowl of this stew would be just thing thing to eat while the snow falls outside. We’re expecting several inches of snow tomorrow and I may just put this stew on the menu… One last fridge-less meal before our new fridge arrives later this week! (Whew!)

Butternut Squash Stew for Winter Nights
Filled with things like butternut squash, rosemary and tomatoes, this stew is easy to make and will make your home smell amazing. (Adapted from A Year in the Vegetarian Kitchen.)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • Salt
  • 5 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 15-ounce cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1½ lbs), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice (about 3½ cups) *
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Parmesan cheese rind
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • ½ teaspoon dry ground rosemary
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Zest of 1 small orange
  • ¼ cup premium orange juice
  • Rosemary foccacia
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and ½ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the minced garlic cloves and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans, squash, tomatoes, Parmesan rind, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove the cover, add the orange zest and juice, and continue to simmer until the stew thickens, about 15 minutes.
  2. To serve, remove and discard the Parmesan rind. Stir the stew, adding salt and pepper to taste. Place a slice of focaccia in each bowl, ladle the stew into the bowls, and serve. Alternatively, you can serve the focaccia on the side.
* How to peel a butternut squash: With a sharp knife, chop off the bottom and top of the squash, then split it vertically down the middle. Remove the seeds with a spoon, then peel each half by placing it flat on a cutting board, pressing down, and using a regular vegetable peeler.

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