Food Hub Diaries- UMass Student Farm Markets Autumn Stew

What’s better than some hearty stew on a cool, crisp autumn evening? Our head chefs at UMass Dining developed a satisfying, healthy, local and easy recipe for an Autumn Stew featuring produce from the UMass Student Farm and the UMass Permaculture Gardens, as well as gleaned butternut squash from Plainville Farm of Hadley, MA: 

UMass Farmer’s Market Autumn Stew 
Serves 4-6   

1 tbsp canola oil 
½ sm onion, medium dice 
4 cloves garlic, chopped   
4 oz chorizo (optional) 
½ tsp salt 
½ tsp black pepper 
1 cup white wine (optional; substitue for more stock if desired) 
16 fl oz chicken stock 
2 medium carrots, cut into chunks 
6 small potatoes, peeled, cut into chunks 
4 sunchokes, peeled, cut into chunks 
1 large sweet potatoes, cut into chunks 
½ butternut, peeled and cut into chunks 
¼ bunch kale, shredded  
1 tbsp chopped assorted herbs 
2 tbsp cornstarch 
¼ cup water 
8 oz chicken, shredded (optional) 
1. In a large pot, set over medium heat, add canola oil, the onions and garlic; lightly cook until onions soften and garlic is slightly fragrant. Add salt, black pepper and white wine, allow to reduce by half.  
2. Add chicken stock, carrots, and carrots, allow to simmer for about 15 minutes.  Then add sweet potatoes, and butternut, simmer again for another 15 minutes. Add kale and assorted herbs and simmer for a few more minutes.   
3. Combine cornstarch and water, add slowly to the stew while stirring, until the stew thickens slightly.    

Want help in the kitchen? Here are some professional tips for recipe success: 

How To De-Stem & Chop Kale 

Pull the leaf away from the stem in the opposite direction of growth. 

Roll kale leaves together into a cylinder. 

Slice kale into 1-inch ribbons by cutting across the cylinder horizontally. 

Remove top from onion and peel outer layers. 

Cut onion in half, placing the flat top on the cutting board for stability. 

Cut onion vertically, leaving 1/4 inch uncut from the root so that it stays in one piece. 

Cut onion horizontally, leaving 1/4 inch uncut so that it stays in one piece. 

Cut onion vertically; for a small dice, cut strips 1/4 inch apart. Repeat steps 3-5 with other half of onion. 

Remove top and bottom from butternut. Cut in half horizontally. 

Place bottom half of squash flat side down on cutting board for stability. Run knife along the outer edge to remove skin. 

Cut bottom portion in half. 

Scoop out seeds and pulp. Roast seeds with olive oil and salt for a yummy treat! 

Cut vertical strips, 1-inch thick. 

Cut horizontally, 1-inch apart. Repeat steps with other portions of squash.