As the weather turns colder —and the economic outlook declines along with those temps —my thoughts turn to warm, hearty, nourishing food that I can make with ease and frugality. In a moment of inspiration the other day, I looked around my kitchen to see what ingredients I had on hand and came up with this recipe.
It’s super simple to make, doesn’t take terribly long and can be adapted in any number of ways. Best of all, Nik loves it! So much that he actually grabbed a spoon and tried to feed it to himself the other night at dinner. And it’s so easy to make I can make a big batch and freeze it in single serving containers for him!
1 small pie pumpkin (or any fleshy winter squash like Butternut)
4 sweet potatoes
1 1/2 cans (total 3 C) chicken OR vegetable broth (I used Swanson’s low fat/low sodium)
1/2 C sour cream or plain yogurt
2 Tbs savory
Ginger to taste – can be fresh, candied, or ground (I used candied ginger to give it just a tiny hint of sweetness, too)
Salt/Pepper to taste
4-6 slices of bacon —cooked and crumbled (approx. 1/2 total bits)
Prepare the pumpkin by splitting in half, scoop out seeds and membrane.
Peel and quarter sweet potatoes.
Put both pumpkin & potatoes in slow cooker —pumpkin halves face down.
Add chicken broth, savory & ginger.
Cook in slow cooker on HIGH for 2-3 hours until pumpkin and potatoes are soft enough to pierce or slightly mash with a fork.
Remove pumpkin and scoop out flesh. Replace flesh in slow cooker.
Puree mixture using either a hand blender, food processor, or immersion blender.
Add sour cream; mix until thoroughly blended.
Add bacon. Salt/Pepper to taste
Cook for another 30 minutes on HIGH. This will allow flavors to infuse and some of the extra liquid to reduce. You may cook it longer if you want it to thicken some more or you can transfer it to a casserole dish and bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 350F.
If you prefer your sweet potatoes thicker or slightly chunkier, use a bit less liquid (or thicken with potato flakes!) and mash instead of puree.
The more I play around with it, the more I really like the versatility of this dish. It goes great as-is with chicken or pork as a side dish. As-is, it’s very low-fat, low-sugar. However,you can play around with different seasoning combinations and it can become anything.
Substitute dried cranberries for the bacon, or swap curry for the savory and you have a great compliment to lamb!
You can change it up and sweeten things by adding brown sugar, cinnamon, and cranberries (or nuts, or marshmallows…). You can spice it up with a southwest flair by adding chipotle in place of the savory and some green onion instead of bacon.
You can thin it out with more broth and serve it as a creamy soup in sourdough bread bowls, too.