December 9, 2009

Black Bean, Butternut Squash and Kale Stew with Quinoa

I’m sitting in my room this morning, drinking coffee and watching the snow fall outside. Chilly nights call for warming, hearty meals so I thought it’d be appropriate to share one of my favorite simple, winter stews with you. I came up with the recipe one evening when my kitchen was overloaded with butternut squash and kale and I was very pleased with the result. The vegetables are paired with black beans and quinoa, making this a one-pot meal that is tasty, highlights seasonal ingredients, and is very nutritious. You will likely be seeing more winter stews in the near future. After all, I’m going to need a way to keep warm as an Arizona girl in a Boston winter. Cheers!

Black Bean, Butternut Squash and Kale Stew with Quinoa

The ancho chili powder adds a great smokiness to the dish. It really can’t be substituted but I suppose a smaller amount of regular chili powder would work. Note that I ball-parked some of the quantities so feel free to adjust as necessary.

Serves 3-4.

1 tablespoon neutral oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
½ jalapeno, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups 3/4-inch chunks of butternut squash
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups vegetable broth (or more as needed)
1/2 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1 small bunch kale, large stems removed and coarsely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup quinoa, cooked
¼ cup chopped cilantro (optional)

Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high. Add onions and sauté until golden, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno, stir 2 minutes, and sprinkle with spices. Combine with squash, black beans, broth and tomatoes. Simmer 10 minutes. Add kale and cook, partially covered 8-10 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide quinoa among bowls. Ladle stew over quinoa, sprinkle with cilantro and serve.


  1. So I have a sweet potato, a can of black beans, and fresh spinach right now. Plus I'm stealing stewed tomatoes and vegetable broth from work (thanks Del Monte)to make this tonight! I'll let you know how it comes out!

  2. This is an awesome versatile soup... will become a staple this winter. It's so good!