Well, I never found time this weekend to buy a new computer, so please bear with me if the fonts or spacing on this post is off. I couldn’t use my husband’s computer last night and had to blog in WordPress, uploading each photo individually. Argh.
It was a fun weekend but incredibly hectic, and like any time I travel, the first place I wanted to be when I got home was in the kitchen. Throughout the weekend, after browsing through lots of stew and cassoulet recipes and with the giant pumpkin in my kitchen in mind, I put together a pumpkin and white bean stew that blew both of us away with its warmth, complexity of flavors, and comfort.
1 small pumpkin, chopped, tossed in oil, and roasted at 400 for 25 minutes, then peeled
2 cans white kidney beans
3 large stalks celery, roughly chopped
2 small yellow onions, chopped
3 pieces turkey bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
3 cups carrots, chopped
3 cups shitake mushrooms, torn into chunks
1 cup red wine, I used Michel-Schlumberger Petite Verdot
2 cups organic veggie broth
2 sprigs fresh thyme
salt and pepper to taste
This dish was all about layering the flavors, starting with the onions and bacon which I brought to a sizzle with a little bit of olive oil. Once the onions had softened, I added the carrots, celery, garlic, wine, broth, and beans, then stirred everything up, then placed the thyme sprigs on top of the stew, covered the pot, and let it simmer on low while I took a phone call. About a half hour later, I tore the mushrooms by hand and stirred them into the stew. About 10 minutes later, we were ready to eat. I topped each bowl of stew with a drizzle of white truffle oil, the perfect compliment to the earthiness of the soup. I served the soup with the Michel-Schlumberger Petite Verdot which has some beautiful cherry flavors with its own bit of earthiness that went well both in and with the stew. I may not always have the best sense when it comes to pairing food and wine, but I love the depth that cooking with wine gives food, especially in the fall and winter, and appreciate how food and wine bring one another to a whole new level.
I would most definitely recommend this stew to anyone looking for a substantial, delicious meal for these chilly evenings. Make it vegetarian super easily by leaving the bacon out!
Do you ever cook with wine?