It’s March. Already. As much as I’m ready for spring and warmer temperatures, I know I’ve still got some time to wait. Spring, with all of its fresh leaves, fresh flowers, and fresh produce, will be here in its own time. We’ve still got some of those inevitable cold fronts to get through and we’re going to make sure we’ve got hearty, warming food like this white bean, porcini, and butternut squash stew to keep us going.
I’ve got another reason for this recipe. My dad, who has recently had to make some changes to his diet, asked me to not forget about him when sharing recipes here. How could I not hear that? I know he loves butternut squash and he’s always good for soup and stews (must be where I got it), so I hope this will fit the bill in every area.
Are you a soup/stew lover, too? Add these to your meal plan.
- beef and butternut squash stew
- slow cooker chicken stew with sausage, white beans, and spinach
- chicken and rice soup with mushrooms and leeks
- five spice carrot soup (vegan)
A couple words on using dried mushrooms. When you open the packet they’re in…you’re gonna smell it. You’re gonna question your choices. There is definitely some funk involved. But don’t be deterred. You also want to rinse them well and strain the soaking liquid thoroughly before pouring it into the soup. That liquid is absolutely packed with umami flavor that can’t be replicated, especially in a vegan dish. But don’t let that grit ruin your dish. The funk equals flavor. Trust me.
Dried mushrooms bring incredibly rich depth of flavor to this white bean, porcini, and butternut squash stew.
White Bean, Porcini, and Butternut Squash Stew
adapted from WIlliams-Sonoma, Weeknight Fresh + Fast
2-2.5 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
1 TBSP olive oil
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
1 to 2 serrano chiles, seeded and minced
1 tsp. dried sage
2 lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1/2-in. pieces
3/4 tsp. each coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 (14.5 oz.) cans cannellini beans with liquid
2 c. low sodium vegetable broth
3 c. baby spinach leaves
chopped parsley, for serving
- Briefly rinse the mushrooms, then transfer to a bowl and add 3 c. very hot water. Let the mushrooms soak until softened, about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, warm the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and serrano chiles and sauté until the onions are tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic, sage, squash, salt, and pepper, and sauté until the squash begins to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute more.
- Add the beans with their liquid and the broth.
- Set a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and drain the mushrooms, pressing out as much liquid as possible. Add the strained liquid to the pot. Chop the mushrooms and add them to the pot.
- Simmer until the squash is tender and the flavors come together, about 15 minutes. Add spinach and simmer 5 minutes more. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Spoon into individual bowls and sprinkle with parsley.
yield: 4-6 servings