At the very end of October, apart from looking forward to trick or treaters and a little spookiness in the air, a bowl of warm stew that's brimming with sausage and the bounty of the garden is near the top of my wish list. And when I can make said stew in the Instant Pot so I have a meal that tastes like it spent all day simmering on the stove, but I really spent a few minutes putting everything together and less than an hour of cooking in total, I'm simply in love.
As much as possible, try to use the freshest ingredients possible. That means reach for herbs from the herb garden and opt for what your garden, CSA box, farmer's market, etc. can provide. I even was lucky enough to have fresh shell beans to include in this version and they were velvety soft and hearty. However, if you are running light on such things, canned beans and dried herbs will do and the recipe below includes instructions for those items as well. If you happen to not have any particular vegetable, I suggest either doubling up on something else or working in yet another garden gift. I've used potatoes, zucchini, and all manner of peppers - including poblanos and jalapeños - in this stew to my family's delight. Just keep it as fresh as you can and you'll be steering right!
I like having a nice bowl of this and then having a chunk or two of dense baguette to sop up any juices left in the bowl. That's it. With so much happening in each bite, you don't need condiments, sides, or the like. Just savor every spoonful and give a little thanks for the harvest of the year.
- 1 pound Italian sausage
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 sweet peppers, cored and chopped - I like to use multiple colors
- 1 tablespoon fresh finely chopped basil and 2 teaspoons each of finely chopped oregano and thyme OR 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½" cubes
- 3 cups pattypan squash, diced into ½" cubes
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (from 1 cob of corn)
- 2 cups sliced carrots
- 2 cups fresh shell beans OR 14 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped tomatillos
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 2 cups kale, stems removed and thinly sliced
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Set your Instant Pot to the sauté setting and crumbled the sauage into the pot. Cook, stirring frequently, until the sausage is fully cooked. Add the chopped red onion, garlic, and peppers; sauté until the vegetables are fragrent and slightly soft. Add the squash, corn, carrots, beans, tomatoes, tomatillos, and chicken broth. Stir well.
Place the lid on your Instant Pot and pressure cook the stew under high pressure for 30 minutes; allow the pot to release its pressure naturally.
After the pressure has released - it will take about 20 minutes - remove the lid and add the green onions, spinach, and kale; stir to combine. Taste the stew and add salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm.
- Yields: 8-10 servings
- Preparation Time: 1 hour