Spicy & Savory Winter Squash Stew

Winter Squash Stew from The Edible Herb Garden

After posting my recent review of Rosalind Creasy’s The Edible Herb Garden last week, I decided that I simply had to try one of the many tempting recipes at the back of the book. Cooking with fresh herbs and homegrown vegetables is a bit more challenging at this time of year; especially in cold climates like New England. But with a good supply of windowsill herbs, a root cellar and/or freezer, attempting a few of Rosalind’s recipes is certainly not out of the question —even in midwinter. Onions and garlic are items most gardening cooks have on hand throughout the cold season, and butternut squash stores well right through the early days of spring. Of course, I always have homegrown herbs, even if they are just little, potted plants on my countertop. Who could live without fresh herbs?

Many of the recipes in Rosalind’s wonderful Edible Herb Gardening book sound both tasty and simple to make, however it was the hearty, native squash stew that leapt out at me on this raw, Superbowl Sunday weekend. Butternut squash has always been one of my favorite vegetables, but I often find it underrepresented in cookbooks. For this reason, I’m always looking out for creative ways to use this mildly sweet, hearty vegetable.

The Edible Herb Garden by Rosalind Creasy

The basic recipe included in the book is delightful, however on my second batch, I chose to jazz it up a bit with homemade vegetable stock, a few smoky chipotle chiles and ample hot sauce. Spicing is always personal, but otherwise I recommend following Rosalind’s cue.  Served with crispy corn chips, this thick and satisfying soup is as perfect for Meatless Monday as it was for Superbowl Sunday. I’m looking forward to trying many more of Rosalind’s recipes; including her Fancy Carrot and Onion Soup from this wonderful book, next weekend.


Winter Squash Stew

(Adapted from Rosalind Creasy’s Native Squash Stew, The Edible Herb Garden. Posted with Permission)


3      Tbs  Olive Oil

2      Medium-Large Onions, Chopped

10    Cups Butternut Squash, Peeled & Cut into 2″ Cubes

4      Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped

2      Red Bell Peppers, Roasted, Peeled & Chopped

6      Anaheim Chiles, Roasted, Peeled & Chopped (or equivalent canned, roasted, mild chiles)

3      Chipotle Chiles, Chopped (canned, in adobo sauce)

1      10-12 oz Package Frozen Corn (in season, use 2-3 ears of fresh corn, scraped)

3      Tsp Ground Cumin

3      Cups Vegetable Stock (or sub Chicken Stock for meat eaters)

1      Tbs Hot Chili Sauce (or to taste)

Salt & Ground Black Pepper to Taste

4      Tbs. Freshly Chopped Cilantro (plus more for serving)

Corn Chips or Corn Tortillas for Serving



Heat the oil in a large stockpot set to medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add butternut squash, garlic, peppers, chilies, corn, cumin. Pour in 3 cups of stock and simmer on low heat until squash is tender (approximately 45 minutes). Mash the stew slightly with a potato masher to break apart some squash chunks and thicken the stew. Add salt, pepper and hot chili sauce to taste. Sprinkle pot and individual bowls of stew with cilantro and serve with a side of warm, homemade corn tortillas or chips.

Winter Squash Stew, Perfect for Lunch or Dinner on a Cold, New England Day


A copy of The Edible Herb Garden was provided by Tuttle Publishing in exchange for independent, un-biased review. No other compensation was received. The Gardener’s Eden is not an affiliate of Tuttle Publishing, but is an affiliate of Amazon.com.

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