Definitely the sort of thing Jane would call a “winter warmer”, this cosy, spicy, slightly sweet stew will keep the cold at bay on even the dullest and chilliest of days. If you’re planning on entertaining then this is a great dish to make up ahead of time and simply reheat when your guests arrive, as the flavours will continue to develop long after cooking.
SERVES 6 –8
light oil (such as rapeseed, groundnut or sunflower)
1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2.5-cm
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and diced
1 yellow pepper, cored, deseeded and diced
6 thyme sprigs
1 large rosemary sprig
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
3 x 400g (13oz) cans chopped tomatoes
100g (3 ½ oz) pitted kalamata olives
50ml (2fl oz) maple syrup
400ml (14fl oz) water
3 x 400g (13oz) cans butter beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper
fresh green salad
Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6.
Splash a little oil on to the base of a roasting tin, add the squash pieces, season with salt and mix together thoroughly. Roast for 20 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and cooked through. Set aside.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a frying pan, add the onion, garlic and peppers and cook gently, stirring, for 5–6 minutes, until the onion has softenedslightly. Add the herbs and spices, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives, maple syrup and water, bring to a simmer and cook over a low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and reduced.
Stir in the roasted butternut squash and butter beans and cook for a further 1–2 minutes until the squash is heated through. Spoon into bowls and serve with Chilli Cornbread and a fresh green salad.
Extracted from Mildreds: The Vegetarian Cookbook. Available here