This wonderful soup is super hearty with loads of fresh vegetables, hearty brown rice, and creamy beans.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Easy to make
- 15 wholesome ingredients
- Delicious sweet and savory flavor
- Uses delicious, seasonal vegetables
- Pairs well with sourdough bread
Soothing Deliciousness in a Creamy Soup
This past October was a little rough. Hubby and I caught some kind of virus, leading us to spend most of the month out of commission and stuck in bed. We ended up making over five varieties of soups and stews to sooth our throats and ease the symptoms up until Halloween.
One such soup is this Slow Cooked Delicata Squash and Chicken Stew with White Beans and Rice. It was inspired by Tieghan Gerard’s version from Half Baked Harvest, but I made a few changes to make it a lot less expensive for us and gluten free.
Herbaceous, Buttery Tepary Beans
This recipe calls for any white bean. I like to use White Tepary Beans, which are an heirloom bean from the Sonoran Desert. They have a slightly herbaceous and buttery flavor. I usually buy them in bulk from Ramona Farms, an Indigenous American owned farm in Sacaton, Arizona.
I found out about them through the Gastropod Podcast, one of my favorite podcasts that discusses food from a historical and scientific prospective. Prep them like any dry bean, but you can save time by using any canned white bean.
White Bean Options:
- Navy Beans: Small, oval-shaped beans often used in baked beans, soups, and stews.
- Great Northern Beans: Slightly larger than navy beans, they are also commonly used in soups, stews, and casseroles.
- Cannellini Beans: These large white beans are popular in Italian cuisine and are often used in dishes like minestrone soup and pasta salads.
- Baby Lima Beans: These are small, flat, and creamy white beans that are commonly used in Southern dishes such as succotash.
- Butter Beans: These beans are also known as “Fordhook Lima Beans” and have a buttery texture. They are often used in casseroles and side dishes.
- White Kidney Beans: These kidney-shaped beans are often used in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes, including salads and stews.
- European Soldier Beans: These beans are known for their distinct red eye and are used in various dishes, including soups and salads.
- Cannelé Beans: Similar in appearance to cannellini beans, cannelé beans are also popular in Italian cuisine and are used in dishes like pasta e fagioli.
- Vermont Cranberry Beans: These beans have a speckled appearance and are used in various dishes, including chili and baked beans.
- White Runner Beans: These beans are commonly used in British cuisine and are often cooked in soups and stews.
Red Kale is in Season
I prefer to use red kale because it is far less bitter than green curly kale. Of course, curly kale is fine if that is what is available. Collard greens, Swiss chard, and mustard greens (if you like spice) are good substitutes for kale. Also, if you have it available, this is the perfect time to use Homemade Chicken Stock or Homemade Vegetable Broth.
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Special Tools and Equipment
6 Quart Slow Cooker or Dutch Oven
Slow Cooker Delicata Squash and Chicken Stew with White Beans and Rice
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, sliced
- 3 sprigs thyme, stems removed and leaves chopped
- 1 bay leaf, torn
- 3 chicken breasts
- 6 cups (1200ml) chicken stock
- 1 cup (200ml) white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, or Picpoul.
- 1 1/2 cups (150g) parmesan cheese, grated
- 14 oz (396g) white beans, drained
- 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for cooking the squash
- 1 cup (200g) brown basmati rice, or any brown rice variety
- 2 delicata squash, halved, seeds removed, and sliced into 1/2 inch pieces.
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare the soup
Preheat your oven to 250°F (120°C).
In a 6 quart Dutch oven, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and sauté the shallots, garlic, celery, thyme, and bay leaf until fragrant and translucent.
Place all of the ingredients except for the squash into the Dutch oven.
Season the soup with salt and pepper.
Cook the dish in the oven for 3 hours.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and shred the chicken. Season the stew with salt and pepper to taste. Add the brown rice. Cook for an additional 2 hours.
Remove the Dutch oven from the oven and allow the soup to cool covered for at least fifteen minutes.
IF USING A SLOW COOKER:
Place all of the ingredients except for the squash into a 6 quart slow cooker.
Season the soup with salt and pepper.
Cook the dish on low heat for 4 hours, or high heat for 2 hours.
Shred the chicken, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the brown rice. Cook for an additional 2 hours on low heat, or 1 hour on high heat.
Roast the squash
Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
Roughly half an hour before the soup is finished, toss the sliced squash pieces with 2 tbsp of vegetable oil and salt and pepper to taste in a large mixing bowl.
Bake the squash for 35 minutes, or until caramelized and browned.
Assemble the dish
Serve the soup and top with the roasted delicata squash. Serve with garlic bread if desired.