It's the cold, monochromatic days that get me. No brilliant blue summer skies, no greens of spring, no orange and yellows of fall. Just bare brown leafless trees and overcast cotton skies. The tips of things go numb and angry, noses, fingers, toes. They scream for heat, for color. It was for just these sorts of days that I made a huge batch of Black Bean and Pumpkin Stew and stashed it in the freezer. Knowing that there would be no fresh sugar pumpkins or sweet corn in mid-January, this spicy stew would be the ideal soul warmer and my secret weapon in fighting the winter blahs.
I saw this recipe in Tastebud, a monthly food magazine given away free here in Kansas City. They, in turn, got it from Nancy O'Connor's Rolling Prairie Recipe Cookbook. I don't own this cookbook but I might have to go in search for it based on this recipe alone. Packed full of all the vegetables the doctors and experts tell us to consume more of as part of a healthy diet. But it's so rich with flavor it feels like you're cheating.
I can easily see substituting a butternut squash for the pumpkin but I will say the pumpkin is delicious in this stew. It really is wonderfully soul warming especially when your soul longs to run barefoot in the grass, not scrape another round of ice off your windshield.
Don't forget this Sunday is Dim Sum Sunday with Vegetables as our theme. Show us your veggie love.