Apple and Pumpkin Spice Stew

>> Tuesday, October 5, 2010

What do I do when I'm down in the dumps? I tie on my apron and cook. Yesterday afternoon, I was in the mood for slow-cooker soup. I was also feeling adventurous and full of autumnal spirit, Naturally, I put my feelings to good use and got creative with some of my favorite fall ingredients.

Putting apples in soup is nothing new. In fact, I just came across a freshly posted recipe for Butternut Squash, Apple, and Sage Soup on The Kitchn today. Ours is more of a stew. Almost chili-like. And it's oh-so easy. You'll want to make it again and again.


What you'll need . . .
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 1 can vegetable broth
  • 1 can's worth of almond milk
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small cooking onion, diced
  • 1 large honey crisp (or other type of apple), peeled and chopped
  • 1 can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves (depending on your desired intensity)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Basil to garnish

Method . . .
  1. Prepare all your fruits and veggies. Drain and rinse all your cans of beans and tomatoes.
  2. Pour the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, and almond milk into the pot of a slow cooker. Stir until well incorporated.
  3. Then toss in everything else. Mix. And season a bit with your cloves, salt, and pepper. (But you can always season more later on).
  4. Put you slow cooker on the high setting for between 3 and 4 hours. Stir every hour or so.
  5. It's done when the green peppers and apples aren't crisp, but they also shouldn't be too mushy.
  6. Store in your fridge. Keeps 5 to 7 days in airtight container.

What I like about this stew is that it's a unique mix of ingredients. The garbanzos were a nice change from kidney beans (that I typically throw into slow cooker stews). The apples release their juices into the broth, but still retain some sweetness and texture. The cloves give you a feeling of warmth. Almost like it's the holidays.

And, well. It IS almost the holidays! Speaking of feeling warm and fuzzy, when I was taking the photos of this stew, Stephen brought in the day's mail. Ashley had sent me a postcard to see how the race went. It was a nice pick-me-up on a cold, rainy, and internally dreary afternoon!

Are there any particular foods that send you into holiday-mode? For me, molasses in ANYTHING makes me think of Christmas. I like to eat pumpkin year-round, so I guess that doesn't have a huge association for me, but today I had my very first pumpkin spice soy latte . . . and that definitely had me pining away for Halloween. Oh, and cinnamon and sugar toast always remind me of snow days!

And pssssst: If you're looking for a great side to go with this soup, look no further. The wasabi dinner rolls we posted the other day work perfectly!

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