Wednesday, November 10, 2010

South American Squash and Vegetable Ragout

  This was a super fun dish to make because of all the beautiful Autumn colors in the ingredients like sweet potato, tomatoes, bell pepper, kidney beans and corn. My kids loved scooping their soup out of baked acorn squash bowls. They thought it was "So cool!" This Fall meal would be perfect to serve to guests, especially on a chilly day. The soup can be made up to two days ahead of time and then all you have to do is bake the acorn squash shells with the soup ladled in it when you are ready to serve dinner.  Voila!

*this recipe came from a Vegeterian Times magazine . Check out the original recipe here.
Soup Recipe
Serves: 4 Prep: 30 minutes Cooking Time:  45 minutes

6 dried pitted apricots
4 dried pitted prunes(see Change it Up below for other ideas)
4 small acorn or butternut squash
1 TB olive oil, plus more for coating the squash
1 small onion, diced (1 cup)
3 cloves of garlic, minced (1 TB)
2 tsp dried oregano
1 red bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
1 14.5 oz can whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juice reserved
1 small yukon gold potato, peeled and diced (1 cup) 
1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced (1 cup)
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
1 15 oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1. Place Apricots and prunes in a bowl. Cover with 1 cup boiling water and let soak for 2 hrs or overnight. Drain and coarsely chop, reserving liquid.
2. Preheat oven to 350 *F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut circular opening in squash tops, and reserve tops. Cut small slices off bottoms of squash so they stand up straight (if you cut too much off, there will be a hole, and the soup will leak through. If you accidentally to that, just patch it up with the piece you cut off by placing it in the inside of the squash). Scoop out and discard seeds and fiber from squash. Rub outsides of squash shells with oil and place on prepared baking sheet.
3. Heat 1 TB oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and oregano;saute 2-3 minutes. Add bell pepper and tomatoes with juice. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add potatoes, sweet potatoes, and reserved apricot-prune liquid. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are almost soft. Add corn and apricot-prune mixture. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes more. Add beans and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 more minutes.
4. Ladle 1 cup stew into each hollowed squash; place lid on top. Bake 60-90 minutes, or until fork can easily pierce through squash.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 

~Instead of apricots and prunes, try dried cherries or dried cranberries.
~Use peas instead of corn.
~Add black beans or white beans instead of kidney.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful meal. Both of us liked it with the cornbread. My squash was a little big however so after cooking we halfed one/half, it didn't make a soup bowl but just the same the vegetables were so good. Dad especially liked this dish, we ate two portions and had another 2 portions leftover for day after tomorrow. HeHe! MOM


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