For the most part, a pumpkin isn’t really considered food to most people. Available in huge quantities in virtually every store that you go to in the weeks before Halloween, it’s mostly considered as decoration to be used as part of the Halloween night festivities.
It just so happened that I received one of the regular email recipes from Save on Foods that drew my attention: Vegetarian Pumpkin Stew.
Even the smallest pumpkin has a lot of food and since I wasn’t looking for one to put outside of our house on Halloween, I picked one (about 5 kg) that was much smaller than I would normally get for the non-eating purpose.
The Save on Foods recipe that I was using looked quite intriguing but as usual I made a few changes to it. First, the recipe called for canned pumpkin – but I thought that it would be criminal to use canned given that fresh pumpkins were in such abundance in the stores this time of year. I also replaced the dried thyme with fresh and also used the last of our home grown back yard tomatoes for the canned tomatoes. Of course I also used my home made chicken broth that I recently made.
All of the other ingredients were kept the same as stated on the recipe.
Using fresh pumpkin as opposed to canned means that some work will need to be done to make the pumpkin ready to be added to the stew pot. I cut the pumpkin into sections and used a spoon to scrape away the pulp on the inside and a peeler to remove the outer orange skin. I then chopped the pumpkin into small pieces (about 2 inches). In all I prepared about 500 ml (2 cups) worth of pumpkin pieces.
In a pot I heated up about 2 Tbspns of butter on medium heat and sautÃ©ed the pumpkin pieces for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. I then added about 1/4 cup of water to the pot, reducing the heat to low and covered for another 15-20 minutes until the pumpkin pieces were soft.
I then used the prepared pumpkin pieces as the recipe said to use the canned pumpkin.
In the end, the completed stew was really delicious and due to the sweet potatoes had a slightly sweet taste but both Barb and I really liked it. The stew had slightly more liquid in it that the picture on the Save on Foods web site but this was deliberate on my part as I have found that stews lose some of their liquid when you have it the next day.
I’ve got to admit that I was tempted to add some meat to this stew recipe as we honestly don’t eat a lot of vegetarian dishes (with the exception of many of the soups that I make). Nonetheless, I decided to keep the recipe as is and it remained vegetarian – well as long as you ignore the chicken stock. Certainly, adding some cubed stewing beef to the recipe is an option if you can’t live without it.
Given that Halloween is just a few days away, the arrival of the email with this Vegetarian Pumpkin Stew recipe was just the perfect timing. If you have any (edible) leftovers from your Halloween celebration, you may want to give this recipe a try.