Saturday, January 12, 2013

Winter Squash, Kale and Miso Stew

This is a great, one pot meal for the middle of winter.  Hearty, nourishing, and simple, it's high in fiber, manganese, vitamins A and C, and lots of cold-fighting antioxidant power.  It uses miso in place of vegetable broth, which is nice for a couple of reasons.  One, it's simple - you just throw in some miso at the end and voil√†!  Flavour!  Two, miso is an enzyme rich food which is known to be excellent for replenishing good bacteria in the intestines, aiding in digestion and assimilation of nutrients.  When purchasing miso (it might seem a little expensive, but it will last forever and it goes a long way!) avoid buying pasteurized versions and go for the living, enzyme rich product.  Did I mention that miso is a complete protein AND high in B12?  Every health conscious eater's dream.  Let's get started. 


1 tsp coconut or other cooking oil
2 medium leeks - chopped
2 to 3 stalks celery - chopped 
3 to 4 cloves garlic - smashed and roughly chopped
1 to 2 T fresh ginger - grated
1/2 cup adzuki beans - rinsed
1/2 cup pearled barley - rinsed
6 cups water
1 medium butternut (or other winter) squash - peeled and chopped
1 medium bunch curly kale - washed and rough chopped
2 to 3 T miso
1 T tamari (optional)
  • Sweat the leeks, celery, and garlic in a large soup pot over medium/low heat with the oil and a fat pinch of salt until they release their liquid and soften - about 10 minutes.
  • Add the beans, barley, water and ginger.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until beans soften - about 45 minutes.
  • Add squash and cook for another 10 minutes.
  • Stir in kale,* miso and tamari - taste to adjust seasoning and enjoy!
  • Serves 6 to 8
*  It's best to wait and add the kale at the very end.  If you'll be saving your soup and eating it over a few days, either leave the kale out and add it when you reheat, or let the soup cool somewhat, place the kale in your storage containers, and pour the soup over the top of it.  That will wilt the kale while leaving it sturdy and able to withstand the reheating (on the stove, of course, since I know you guys aren't using microwaves out there ;).

Inspired by this recipe.

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