Winter Squash and White Bean Stew

I have been all about using the crock pot lately.  In fact, the night we had friends over for board games, dessert, and mulled cider, I cooked soup in the crock pot, poured it into the Dutch over to simmer until we were ready to eat, cleaned out the crock pot, and turned it right back on again for the cider!  Looking for new and interesting recipes, I happened across this one for an easy winter soup.

Overall, I was pleased with it.  The soup had a nice sweetness to it, probably from the squash and cinnamon, and the cumin lent it some characteristic earthiness and warm aromas.  It was a tasty recipe, though it’s not really a main-dish soup.  We had fried-Christmas-ham sandwiches, which rounded it out to make it a nice winter meal. I would make a couple changes next time, including cubing the squash a bit smaller and adding some spinach for a different flavor, some color, and a little added heartiness.

And so, I will leave you with the recipe, and with a question, if you’re reading this.  Are there any tips for cutting into hard vegetables, like sweet potatoes or butternut squashes?  I always struggle trying to cut them into reasonably-sized pieces because they are not only large and unwieldy, but also a very hard texture.  Suggestions?

Winter Squash and White Bean Stew
From Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook 

1 cup chopped onions
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp group cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
19-oz can cannellini beans, drained
14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.  Cover.  Cook on High 1 hour.

Reduce heat to Low and heat 2-3 hours.

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2 responses

  1. Cutting into hard veggies is difficult! First of all, try to use a really sharp veggie peeler before cutting into it, you’ll have more stability. Next, use a heavy sharp knife, like a Santoku, with a wide blade, again for stability, and a good sturdy cutting board. And, most importantly, cut into it making a flat surface to work with. Flat end down, now cut in half, then in large slices, then take that large slice and dice into desired chunks. It’s a bit time consuming, but it is safe, not so unwieldy, and more uniform sizes for cooking evenly. ‘works for me!
    ‘love your post. Aren’t soups so satisfying in winter? ‘gotta love them! And, the crockpot makes life so much easier.
    Enjoy!!! =)

  2. I have trouble with those sweet potatoes as well. I try hard to make them look as much like a a tissue box shape or cylinder shape as I can when peeling. Then I do what your mom says. They are just hard veggies – but they give you a fantastic arm workout. Or it is a good way to get the hubby involved in the process.

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