We’re in the thick of winter here in Canada, and that means cold temperatures and cravings for warm foods and this Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Stew fits the bill perfectly.
Supporting local means shopping and eating with the seasons and purchasing whatever is available from local farmers at Noggins Corner, Wolfville Farmers Market and WFM2Go, and that includes winter squash, sweet potatoes and kale, which are all featured in this Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Stew.
Prior to the last couple of years, the only kind of squash I ate was zucchini…and pumpkin in desserts. Now I love acorn squash, spaghetti squash and of course butternut squash. Buttercup squash continues to elude me, as I have this notion that it requires Herculean strength to peel, cut through and cut up. That’ll have to be my next foray into new vegetable territory. We love to eat spaghetti squash with red lentil pasta sauce, and acorn squash is often enjoyed stuffed with a lentil or mushroom mixture. Butternut squash is often added to our regular baking sheets filled with mixed root vegetables for roasting. Sometimes I steam it, let it cool and use it to make a creamy dip. More than anything though, it has become a real favourite for soups and stews.
Butternut squash health benefits
- Contains antioxidants to neutralize free radicals, slow cellular damage and reduce inflammation
- Very good source of fiber to help regulate blood sugar
- Good source of B vitamins to support the nervous system
- Excellent source of vitamin A. Vitamin A is critical for eyesight, including night vision, growth and repair of cells, healthy skin, and it supports immune function. Vitamin A requires the mineral zinc to make it available for use by the body. Sweet potatoes, kidney beans and kale in this soup are all sources of zinc.
- Good source of potassium, manganese and magnesium to build denser bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
Thermogenic warming spices help to raise the body’s core temperature and are wonderful additions to my Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Stew. They’re also members of nature’s pharmacy:
- chili peppers and chili powder help digestion and have anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral properties
- cumin has antioxidant properties and has been used to relieve gas and aid digestion
- turmeric is the most studied anti-inflammatory herb. It had also been used as a digestive aid and liver stimulant
- cardamom has anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and is used as a carminative
- fennel is an anti-spasmodic, aids in digestion and stimulates the production of bile to support liver function
I hope you love this Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Stew as much as I do. If you try it let me know in the comments below.
- If you’re looking for other delicious homemade soups, try these:
- Creamy Corn Chowder,
- Mushroom Lentil Soup,
- Mushroom, Miso and Bok Choy Soup,
- Roasted Garlic, Cauliflower and Bean Soup,
- Carrot, Ginger and Red Lentil Soup
- Leek, Broccoli and Sweet Potato Soup
Spicy Squash and Sweet Potato Stew
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1" piece of fresh ginger grated
- 2 small dried chilis cut into ¼” pieces
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp fennel
- Dash cardamom
- 4 cups cubed butternut squash (1 butternut squash)
- 2 cups cubed sweet potatoes (1 large sweet potato)
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 can kidney beans drained
- 4 cups chopped kale
- Heat olive oil in dutch oven. Add onions, garlic and ginger. Sauté for two minutes.
- Add spices and stir into onions, garlic and ginger. Heat for 2-3 minutes for spices to begin releasing their aroma.
- Add squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until squash and sweet potatoes are fork tender.
- Add kidney beans and kale. Continue to simmer stew for five minutes to heat kidney beans and soften kale.