Thursday, October 17, 2013

pumpkin farro field roast stew

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Wow, it seems like forever since my last post. Traditionally, October is an overly active month for us- between work, family events and the beautiful NH fall weather calling my name, I sadly have not found much time for blogging. Fall is one of my most favorite times of the year - whats not to love about fall? The trees show off their gorgeous jewel toned leaves, the air has a bite to it and comfort food is at its finest. At least once a week, typically on a Sunday afternoon, you will find a pot of soup, chili or stew slowly cooking away on the stove. Fall wouldn't be fall without a new pumpkin soup to share. I absolutely love using pumpkin in savory dishes - I actually prefer savory pumpkin dishes over sweet.

Our garden is slowing down to say the very least, however it still has plenty to give during the cooler months. Kale was a crop I was super skeptical about growing from seed - I had read that it can be fairly fussy and hard to grow. This year I decided to put my fears aside and grow my first crop of kale - I am so happy I did. Ragged Jack Kale is one of the easiest crops I have grown and the most beautiful. Alongside the kale, over in the next garden bed, the hot green peppers are still hanging on, both of which are used in this soup. Combined with pumpkin puree, field roast sausage, shallots, garlic, mushrooms, adzuki beans and farro makes for a beautiful fall stew.

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Told you, beautiful right?

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If you are not familiar with farro or have a hard time finding farro at your local grocery store feel free to sub in freekeh, wild rice or brown rice for the farro - really your favorite grain or seed would work well.
A few days ago I made a choice - to wallow in an off mood or go out into the forest. Fresh air and being in the woods by oneself is meditative. It offers the chance for me to focus on the sights and smells that can otherwise be lost in the typical buzz of a normal day. When I give myself the opportunity to quiet my mind I am able to focus and think clearly. I specifically remember towards the end of my walk how amazing the woods smell during each season. Have you ever noticed that? The forest literally smells sweeter in the fall- it is an amazing smell. I realized that no matter how busy life gets, one should never take for granted the simple pleasures life affords us. For me, a simple walk in the woods with my dog by my side surrounded by the natural beauty of the woods is one thing I should never fail to make time for.
What are your simple pleasures you wish you could make a little more time for?
Pumpkin Farro Field Roast Stew
Serves 4-6

you will need:
1 tsp olive or coconut oil
2 mild hot green peppers roughly chopped, such as Anaheim chile
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 small shallots, sliced
2 cups sliced baby bella or wild mushrooms
1 link of field roast sausage sliced into rounds or 1 cup seitan or marinated tempeh
1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves roughly chopped
1/2 cup farro or other favorite grain or seed (dry measure)
8 cups of water, divided
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 (15oz) can Pumpkin Puree ~ about 2 cups
1 cup adzuki beans (cooked)
salt & pepper to taste
Garnish with fresh parsley, spicy roasted pumpkin seeds or pepitas 

In a large skillet or soup pot heat oil over medium high heat. Add peppers through field roast sausage, saute until mushrooms are golden brown. Add your grain of choice & balsamic to the pan - cook for about 1 minute until balsamic reduces. Add 3 cups of water & nutritional yeast to the pan bring to a boil, place the chopped kale on top of the soup and reduce heat to low, cover and allow to simmer for 20 minutes. 

Add pumpkin puree along with the last 5 cups of water & adzuki beans - allow to simmer for an additional 25 minutes (less time may be needed depending on your grain of choice).

Season with salt & pepper & garnish with parsley and pepitas or spicy roasted pumpkin seeds.



  1. fall has been very busy with me, too. i've been enjoying the outside before it gets too cold, taking extra long walks and taking in the cool, fresh air. i've also been dreaming of warm, hearty stews, like this one. absolutely perfect for fall.

    1. Same here, we just saw our first snowflakes of the season (yikes!)

  2. Your photography is just amazing. How about you come over, I'll cook, and you photograph it? Or you could just cook and photograph, and I'll do the dishes!?

    1. Awww thanks Barb :) I would love for you to cook for me, and I know Justin would be head over heels in love with your cooking!

  3. I always find October to be busy too...but I'm glad you're back! This stew is full of so much goodness! Lovely recipe :)

  4. This stew sounds delicious! Somehow I have not yet gotten around to eating any pumpkin this fall--clearly that needs to change asap. :)

    1. Girl you need to get on the pumpkin band wagon before its too late!

  5. Replies
    1. I totally wish I could virtually send you a steaming hot bowl!

  6. Yum! This stew looks delicious! Sometimes all the vegetable stew recipes that get blogged about this time of year start to run together, but this looks very unique (and tasty!).

    1. Thanks Rachael! Though one can never have too many stew or soup recipes, can they?

  7. Wow, this sounds like such a hearty and savory stew! Using pumpkin in a savory meal like soup or chili is on my list of things to do this fall too. I also have a few Field Roast sausages in my freezer right now that I had no plans for, and a stew sounds like a good use for them! (p.s. I was going for a run through a little forested area recently and couldn't believe how strongly it smelled - like really ripe fruit!)

    1. Nice! There is something about field roast that I absolutely love! The air really does smell sweeter doesn't!

  8. This stew looks amazing and healthy! I have a bag of farro I need to use up in my pantry, and this is the perfect use for it! :)

    1. Farro is pretty amazing, it is one of my favorite grains!

  9. I’ve been looking for a farro recipe after having crispy farro cakes at Waldorf Astoria Chicago (unfortunately won’t be returning). Look amazing for the chilly days!

    1. So sorry to hear about your experience at the Waldorf, hopefully they will learn to be better accommodating and follow through on their promises after your experience.I know it must have been completely frustrating knowing that went through the proper steps to ensure you had a seamless dining experience while at the hotel...I feel for you, as I have been in situations very similar to yours, I just assume that larger cities would be more familiar with the vegan lifestyle, but I always am proven wrong.


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