tasty tuesday: fall stew with chorizo, kale, lentils, and acorn squash


Happy Halloween!  It’s Thursday, but this crazy week has me posting this week’s tasty tuesday on a Thursday.  I think that this one is well worth the wait, though.

Tuesday was the busiest day I’ve had at work in quite some time.  Everything I worked on was good and productive, but I was totally worn out by the end of the school day.  I even forgot to each lunch!  I know that, for some people, this happens all of the time, but let me tell you something: it takes a ridiculously busy day for me to forget to eat.  After a hectic day, I headed to Kroger with a tasty tuesday assignment looming with no idea what I would make.

Then, I saw an acorn squash.  She was right in the corner betwixt a butternut and a spaghetti when I snatched her up and decided I’d been inspired.  Next, I grabbed some trusty kale and thought, “What will I do with this? Pasta, perhaps?  A baked bread pudding, maybe?  Nah…I’m going to chop everything up in a pot, add some chicken stock, and let it simmer for good while.”

…and that’s precisely what I did.  I picked up a few stalks of celery, a carrot, and did a mental checklist for the herbs and spices I had at home.  Stew was on the horizon.  But what protein would round out this meal?  A less hungry head (and stomach) would have led me to a sensible ground turkey or lean ground beef, but instead, I found a package of chorizo.  Oh yeahhh.

On my way to the checkout, I spotted a can of crispy fried onions, the kind you find atop holiday green bean casserole.  YES, I thought.  This is the crunch factor that I’m looking for, plus it will get me in the mood for my favorite holiday of the year: Thanksgiving.

So I went home, browned some meat, chopped some things, added some stock, brought it to a boil, turned it to simmer, then went to my Pure Barre class.  When I came back, Alex was drinking a pumpkin beer, so I dipped us up some soup, cracked open a pumpkin beer for myself, plopped down on the sofa, and sat still for the first time that day.  My my, how delightful and rewarding it was.

Fall Stew with Chorizo, Kale, and Acorn Squash

1 lb. chorizo

1 acorn squash

1 bunch of kale

2 celery stalks

1 carrot

5 cloves of garlic

2 containers of chicken stock (48 oz. each)

1/2 cup green lentils

1 tsp. crushed fennel seeds

1 tsp. crushed dry thyme

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

optional, but encouraged: crispy fried onions as a topper

In a large pot, brown the chorizo over medium-high heat.  While the chorizo is cooking, dice the celery and carrot, then put them in the pot.  Next, remove the skin from the acorn squash and cut into bite-size pieces, then add to the pot.  Smash the garlic cloves, give them a rough chop, then add them to the pot.  Add the chicken stock, herbs, and spices, then turn the heat to high.  Next, add the lentils to the pot. One leaf at a time, tear small pieces of kale off of each leaf and place them in the pot.  The pieces don’t have to be exact, but aim for a 1 inch by 1 inch square.  Bring the stew to a boil, then place the lid on the pot and let simmer for at least one hour.  Immediately before serving, top each bowl with about 1/4 cup of crispy fried onions.

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