To quote our new favorite show: “Winter is Coming”. A batch of this stew, which freezes wonderfully, will help you prepare for the coming cold months. I use pumpkin puree in many recipes, but I never use fresh pumpkin. So I added “chunky pumpkin stew” to my “Winter – To Make” list on the fridge. No single recipe sounded perfect so I came up with my own. The soup fills the house with some excellent aromas (cinnamon, ginger) and the flavors will not disappoint. I’ve never seen a Korean Yam until this year so if you can’t find it in your local grocer, look harder. It’s purple-skinned, white-fleshed and tastebud-stimulating. And don’t forget the peanut butter!
1.5 lb chicken breast, sliced
4 cups chicken broth, separated
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes, partially drained
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 korean yam or sweet potato (the white-fleshed one, if available)
4 cups (~2 lbs) pumpkin, cubed
2 cups fresh green beans, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 cayenne or jalapeño pepper, minced (optional)
1/3 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
sliced avocado and toasted challah bread, for serving
1. Heat the oil in a large pot and brown the chicken for 4-5 minutes, then set aside. Add the garlic, onion, red pepper, ginger and cayenne/jalapeño pepper to the pot and saute until the onions are soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, most of the chicken broth (about 3 1/2 cups), yam/sweet potato, paprika, cinnamon and salt to the pot and bring to a boil.
2. After boiling for about 10 minutes, add the pumpkin, green beans and chicken to the pot and once the pot is boiling again, reduce the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
3. While the stew is simmering, place the cornstarch in a small bowl with the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth and mix until the cornstarch is dissolved, then add the peanut butter and mix well.
4. When the yams and pumpkin are done (tender but not mushy) add the peanut butter mixture and stir, then cover the pot and turn off the heat and let sit for about 3-5 minutes, then serve. Make 8-10 servings.