Photo: Kelly Rossiter
I woke up this morning to an unexpected blizzard, our first real snow of the winter. There is something about a big snowfall that sends me into the kitchen. Usually I bake bread, but today I decided on a vegetarian stew, because I had all the ingredients on hand, and I didn't have to go out to the store in the bad weather to make my meal.This recipe made a kind of cross between a stew and a soup. In fact, I think I will add some more stock to leftovers and mush it up a bit and have it as a soup for lunch tomorrow. I'm thinking of rubbing a thick slice of toast with a bit of garlic and then ladling the soupy mixture on top.
I didn't have quite as much porcini as the recipe called for, so it wasn't as mushroom flavoured as I might have liked. If I had had any fresh mushrooms, I would have added them to beef it up a bit. In any case, it was a lovely, light stew, perfect for eating while watching the snow fall.
This recipe is from Weeknight Fresh and Fast by Kristine Kidd. It's available now from Williams-Sonoma and after March 1 you will be able to get it anywhere.
White Bean Stew with Porcini and Winter Squash
2-2 1/2 oz dried porcini muhsrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 seranno chilies, seeded and minced
2 lb butternut squash. peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 in pieces
coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 cans cannellini beans, with liquid
2 cups vegetable stock
fresh flat-leaf parsley, for sprinkling
1. Place the dried porcini in a sieve and rinse briefly with water. Transfer to a small bowl. Add 3 cups very hot water and let soak until the mushrooms are softened, about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onions, chilies, and sage, and saute until the onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper, and saute until it starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the beans with their liquid and the broth.
3. Set a fine-mes sieve over a small bowl. Drain the porcini in the sieve, pressing out as much liquid as possible from the mushrooms. Add the liquid to the pot. Chop the porcini and add to the pot. Simmer until the squash is tender and the flavours blend, about 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Spoon the stew into warmed bowls. Sprinkle with parsley and serve right away.