Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Slow Cooker Squash Stew

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, sliced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas, rinsed

1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into large pieces

1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems separated and roughly chopped

grated parmesan for topping

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

Crusty bread , for serving


Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup water, scraping up any browned bits. Transfer the contents of the skillet to a 6-quart slow cooker.

Add the chickpeas, squash, chard ,rind, if using, 2 teaspoons salt and 7 cups water to the slow cooker. Stir, then cover and cook on low, 8 hours.

Just before serving, lift the lid and stir in the chard leaves; cover and continue cooking 10 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and stir to slightly break up the squash.  Ladle the stew into bowls; top with the grated parmesan, if desired, and serve with bread.

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