Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Warming up the Winter

As I said recently, the winter season makes me yearn to cook soups and stews. Our New Year rang in with relatively mild weather, so I started off with a fairly mild dish. Today there is no doubt that winter is here, and the biting cold inspired me to bite back with warming spices!

And for January, I'm focused on using foods that are seasonal to my area, so I'm still working with local collards and winter squash. And to further inspire, locally based Roots Hummus has put out a recipe challenge using their extremely tasty hummus, and here's what all that inspiration produced:

Chipotle Curry
• One can (14.5 oz) of chopped tomatoes (better yet, use some you put up from your summer garden)
• 14.5 oz vegetable broth (just fill the can)
• 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 5 large Collard leaves (or 1 small bunch), torn into small pieces
• 1 small butternut squash
• olive oil
• salt
• curry powder
• 1 8 oz. container Roots Chipotle Hummus*
• Frozen corn kernels (put up from the summer market finds)
• Fresh broccoli florets
• Leftover roasted chicken, cut into small pieces

Bring the first three ingredients to a boil in a large saucepan, then reduce to a simmer.

Steam the collards above the simmering tomatoes until tender but not mushy.

Peel and cube the squash, tossing it with olive oil, salt, and curry powder. Roast on a baking sheet at 425 F. till just tender.

When squash and collards are done, set them aside.

Add the entire container of the hummus to the simmering tomatoes, then blend with an immersion blender just till hummus is incorporated (I left some tomato chunks). 

The last three ingredients are some I had on hand and decided to add - you can change this up to suit your tastes - various other quick-cooking vegetables, chick peas, etc.

Add the last three ingredients, along with the collards and squash to the pot, stir to combine and taste for seasoning. Simmer covered about 5 more minutes until broccoli is just tender and corn heated through.

I had a nice, whole wheat roll from Roots & Branches that was perfect for sopping up the extra juices. It's warming, it's spicy, and it's sooooo good on this cold, winter night!

*if you're not lucky enough to live in a region where Roots Hummus is sold, go ask your grocer to carry it! If that's not possible, pick your favorite spicy hummus to substitute.

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