Who’s ready for some pumpkin? I am! About a month ago, I was in Bloom picking up some milk and right by the entrance was their display of all the beautiful winter squashes. Of course I had to get some! So I picked up a spaghetti squash and a cute little pumpkin (Depending on the store, they’re either called sugar or pie pumpkins). I have never cooked either kind ever before. Since Emilie recently showed you something delicious and light with the spaghetti squash, I’ll share with you what I did with the pumpkin.
An actual pumpkin is way different than what comes in that can every holiday season, so it took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do. Like many winter squashes, the flesh of the pumpkin has a sweet taste to it and is quite filling. What better way to put those aspects to work but in a chili? Maybe the sweet and spicy was inspired by a Mexican hot chocolate…but wouldn’t that have lead me to a mole sauce? Hmmmm, pumpkin mole sauce…I think I’ll have to ponder that experiment one a bit more…
I’ll warn you now, this is one of those dishes that I just threw together on the cuff. I had an idea of where I was going, but not the exact destination if you know what I mean. In the end, this delicious, warm you to the bone dish came out somewhere between a soup and a stew (What Rachel Ray would call a “stoup”) rather than what many call a chili. The spiciness of the cayenne plays very nicely with the sweet pumpkin, and both the pumpkin and cannellini add that bit of comforting creaminess. I think you’ll agree with me that this is a keeper!
Spicy Pumpkin Stew
- 1 small sugar/pie pumpkin peeled, seeded, and cut into medium cubes
- 1 cup onion, diced small
- 1 15 oz can cannellini beans
- 1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 tbsp fresh tyme, chopped
- 2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lb boneless pork loin, cut into medium sized cubes*
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 package cooked wild rice or wild rice blend
*If you don’t eat pork, shrimp is a tasty substitute or you can leave it out and go meatless
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- Heat olive oil n a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
- Add garlic and onion to the pot along with 2 tbsps of the wine.
- Cook until onion is translucent. In the meanwhile, season pork with salt and pepper.
- Add seasoned pork to the pot along with another 1-2 tbsps of wine. Cook pork about 2 minutes.
- Add pumpkin to the pot, 2 more tbsp wine, and the chicken broth
- Bring to a simmer, then add the cannellini, tomatoes, thyme, and cayenne pepper
- Return to simmer, lower heat to medium, and cover
- Continue to cook until pumpkin is tender, about 7-10 more minutes
- Serve over a bowl of wild rice