Deconstructed Pumpkin Stew

IMG_2306Rich, earthy stews with layers of warm and savory flavors are ubiquitous with autumn. This pumpkin stew makes good use of one of the most wonderful offerings of late season gardens… pie pumpkins. It’s so flavorful that omnivores won’t even notice how the dish is entirely vegan.

Deconstructing the stew, i.e. layering the stew over slices of roasted pumpkin instead of mixing the pumpkin into the pot of stew itself, is an awesome way to preserve the satisfying texture of freshly roasted pumpkin. Try this for your next Meatless Monday. Three cheers for autumn!

IMG_2303Ingredients (Serves 4 with leftovers)

1 pie pumpkin, 7 or 8 inches in diameter

1 quart fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup white onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon hot chili powder

15 oz can of garbanzo beans

1 cup sliced fresh okra

2 generous tablespoons peanut butter (“real” peanut butter made with only peanuts and salt, not the kind with hydrogenated oils added)

Unsweetened coconut flakes and/or crushed peanuts to garnish (optional)

IMG_2304Directions:

Step 1) Cut pumpkin in half and remove seeds (save for later use). Set pumpkin halves cut side down on a greased baking sheet. Roast pumpkin in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes.

Step 2) While pumpkin is roasting, combine tomatoes, onion, salt, sugar, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder, and garbanzo beans in a large pot. Simmer, uncovered, over low-medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Step 3) After 15 minutes, add sliced okra to the pot. Cover the pot and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

Step 4) Stir peanut butter into the pot of stew, and continue simmering, stirring occasionally, over LOW heat until the pumpkin is done roasting.

Step 5) When pumpkin is done roasting, turn the pumpkin halves cut side up and slice each half into two or three pieces (the total number of pumpkin pieces depends on the size of your pumpkin).

Step 6) To serve, set a pumpkin slice on each plate and top with a generous ladle of stew. Sprinkle with coconut and/or crushed peanuts if desired.

 

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