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White Bean and Sausage Stew in Pumpkin Bowls

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Intense heat concentrates the pumpkin's sugars, bringing out its natural sweetness -- so you can enjoy its rich, dense flesh as you spoon out your stew. White beans, red pearl onions, baby peas, and turkey sausage make up the deep-flavored mix.

  • Servings: 12

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October 2006

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dried navy beans
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus 1 tablespoon leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 5 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 12 (about 2 pounds each) sugar pumpkins, washed and dried
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound turkey sausage, casings discarded, coarsely chopped
  • 3 dozen red pearl onions, peeled
  • 14 small red fingerling or new potatoes, (about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 2 large leeks, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced crosswise, rinsed well
  • 1 stalk celery, trimmed and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1/2 pound white button mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup fresh shelled or thawed frozen baby peas
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage

Directions

  1. Put beans into a medium bowl; cover with cold water by 2 inches. Refrigerate 8 hours (up to overnight). Drain beans and transfer to a large stockpot.

  2. Make bouquet garni: Place bay leaves, thyme sprigs, and the peppercorns on a square of cheesecloth; tie into a bundle with kitchen twine. Add stock, onion, and bouquet garni to pot with beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover; simmer until beans are tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Drain beans, reserving cooking liquid. Discard bouquet garni.

  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a keyhole saw, cut out tops of pumpkins, and reserve. Remove seeds. Rub inside of each pumpkin with the oil, and season with salt and pepper. Place pumpkins and tops right side up on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 25 minutes. Remove tops; let cool completely on a wire rack, and reserve for garnish. Turn pumpkins upside down, and bake until flesh is tender but firm, about 25 minutes more. Let cool completely on rack.

  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Add sausage. Cook, stirring, until sausage is browned, about 7 minutes. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, the pearl onions, potatoes, carrots, leeks, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have softened, about 12 minutes. Stir in mushrooms and peas. Stir in flour, and cook 2 minutes.

  5. Reduce heat to medium. Add milk; simmer 5 minutes. Stir in beans, reserved cooking liquid, sage, thyme leaves, and 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer; cook until thick, about 30 minutes.

  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Divide the stew among pumpkin shells. Place on baking sheets, and bake until pumpkins are soft, about 15 minutes. Garnish with tops.

Reviews Add a comment

  • suemenzshawca
    8 OCT, 2016
    I make a vegetarian version of this every Thanksgiving and serve it from a single, bigger sweet pumpkin. Makes a nice table center piece when you don't have a turkey. I replace the turkey sausage with Yves breakfast links or tofurkey sausage and the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Always a big hit and requested every year.
    Reply
  • suemenzshawca
    8 OCT, 2016
    I make a vegetarian version of this every Thanksgiving and serve it from a single, bigger sweet pumpkin. Makes a nice table center piece when you don't have a turkey. I replace the turkey sausage with Yves breakfast links or tofurkey sausage and the chicken broth for vegetable broth. Always a big hit and requested every year.
    Reply
  • Laurenalice
    28 OCT, 2014
    We make this every Halloween night as a traditional dinner party and every year it is a huge hit!
    Reply
  • Misstapher
    13 NOV, 2013
    This was great. I used canned navy beans since I had them in the cupboard. I added 3 cups of homemade chicken stock and 1 cup water along with the cream. I had 1 large sugar pumpkin and I roasted it and then scooped out some flesh and mixed it into the soup as I didn't want to serve it in the pumpkin. It gave the soup a really nice golden color! I will be making this again :)
    Reply
  • lisalisal
    12 NOV, 2010
    I had this at a friend's party this past weekend and it was AMAZING...making it tonight!
    Reply
  • salvanv
    24 SEP, 2009
    Fabulous fall stew. This recipe tastes best the Day it is prepared. I skip the pumpkin shells and serve in soup bowls.
    Reply