Sunday Spring Cleaning: Curried Pumpkin & Kale Stew

I’ve long been of the belief that, if you add enough curry to something, it’s bound to be good.  This stew upholds the belief: nothing spectacular, just good, tasty, warm and comforting stew for a snowy New York Sunday.  The bonus is that this was a freezer-clearing special:  I used some cooked cranberry beans that were hanging out in the fridge, frozen pumpkin cubes leftover from this soup, frozen kale put-up this summer, plum tomatoes that I stuck in the freezer, whole, just before we left on our honeymoon, tomato paste that I put up last summer and turkey stock made from a few of these dinners

This recipe is very adaptable to whatever leftovers are cluttering up your fridge and freezer.  I think cooked chickpeas would be excellent with the curried-pumpkin flavor; cauliflower would also be yummy, as would leeks or shallots. Use your imagination, and use up those leftovers – just remember – don’t spare the curry!

More pumpkin recipes here.
More stew recipes here.
More Sunday Spring cleaning here.
Phew!

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Curried Pumpkin & Kale Stew

INGREDIENTS

  • one medium red onion, chopped
  • 6 small plum tomatoes, halved (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • 1 tbsp bacon grease or olive oil
  • 3 cups cubed pumpkin (fresh or frozen), diced to 1-inch
  • 1 lb kale, frozen, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked cranberry beans, or other heirloom bean
  • 4 cups turkey stock (or chicken or vegetable stock)
  • 2 – 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 – 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or local chile powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher flake salt

METHODS

  1. Heat grease in a Dutch oven or small stockpot over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onions and tomatoes; saute 2 to 3 minutes.  Add pumpkin chunks and saute for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the pumpkin begins to brown. 
  2. Add kale, beans, turkey stock, tomato paste and spices and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until pumpkin is fork tender, about 20 – 25 minutes.  Remove cover, raise heat, and reduce liquid until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Taste, adjust seasonings, and serve hot with rice, couscous or crusty bread. Like all stews, this will thicken and improve on the second day.

Serves 4 to 6.

OPTIONS

  1. Substitute any winter squash for the pumpkin and chard or spinach for the kale.
  2. Chickpeas, navy beans, Jacob’s cattle or any mild heirloom bean would work well.
  3. Add a jalapeno or habanero pepper, diced and seeded as desired, with the onions to increase the heat.
  4. Easy and tasty vegan meal with olive oil and vegetable stock.

STORE

Stew will thicken and flavors will blend on storage in the refrigerator.  Store up to 5 days or freeze up to 1 month.

SEASON

Technically, year-round, but this is a very fall/winter dish.

 

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