Why do I crave soup every night? Seriously, ya’ll, there must be something wrong with me. I just loooooooove a big hearty stew when the weather starts to get chilly (okay, I’d probably eat it in the summer too… have I mentioned gazpacho is my weakness? but I digress.) and there’s something about a loaf of crusty bread or handful of tortilla chips or wheat crackers to dip, until they get just chewy enough to pick up with a spoonful of hearty goodness.
The best part about stew is that you can honestly add any ingredient you want and completely custom-design! (Sometimes that’s also a problem for me. Note to self: sweet potatoes, peas, and dried mint don’t mix well. Literally.) I usually raid my pantry for canned beans and veggies that I can find in there, and use a 1:1 veggies to beans ratio in most of my stews. Two cans beans, a can of corn and a can of tomatoes, and some chicken broth (Better than Bullion is my favorite)… throw ‘er into the crock-pot AKA mostingeniousinventioninthehistoryofmankind with some kind of protein and spices, set to high, and in a few hours your work is done. Oh, the smells that will waft through your nostrils when you walk through the door after work or an afternoon of errands.
I have to admit this one is probably my absolute favorite stew recipe. I make it so much that it’s a wonder Ben doesn’t plead with me to stop. But he seems to like it too. It must be the sweet potatoes. No, the turkey sausage. Black beans and cumin combo? I don’t know what it is, but just try it. You won’t be disappointed. I do have to say, though, that I think the deal-breaker in this one is the Latin Style Black Bean Soup base from Trader Joe’s that I used in place of chicken broth. A few extra calories, but the creaminess is definitely worth it. And you can still add more water or broth if it’s too thick for you!
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 links fully cooked turkey sausage (any variety), thawed and sliced into ¼" slices
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- salt and black pepper
- 2 14.5 oz cans peeled or diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 14.5 oz cans black beans, rinsed
- 1 14.5 oz can kidney beans, rinsed
- 2 cups frozen yellow corn kernels
- 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into ½" cubes
- 1 28 oz carton Trader Joe's Latin Style Black Bean Soup (http://www.traderjoes.com/fearless-flyer/article.asp?article_id=1022)
- Plain greek yogurt, tortilla strips, shredded cheddar cheese or cornbread for serving
- Dried parsley for garnish
- In a saute pan on medium-high heat, add oil until hot. Saute onion, mushrooms, bell pepper and garlic until just tender- about 5 min. During last minute, add sliced turkey sausage and stir until the sausage is nicely browned on both sides.
- Add mixture to a large crock-pot. Add chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, 1 tsp salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.
- Add tomatoes and their liquid, black bean broth, sweet potato chunks, and all beans. Add 1 cup water to thin stew a bit and stir together.*
- Set crock-pot on high heat for 4-5 hours.
- About 30 min before serving, add corn kernels.
- Serve with plain greek yogurt or sour cream, tortilla strips, or cornbread. Garnish with a little sprinkle of dried parsley, too!
Original recipe adapted from RealSimple.