When the weather is cold, I turn to hearty chilis and stews to warm up. I'm also lazy. And stews and chilis are wonderful one-pot meals loaded with meat, beans and lots of veggies. This recipe has no actual heat (spiciness) so who knows if it should still be called a chili. Feel free to enlighten me on this in the comments :) Regardless, if you are unlike me and have no young children to worry about, by all means add a tsp of chili flakes or chili powder when the turmeric goes into the pot.
1lb Turkey sausages (about 4 large ones)
2lbs Butternut squash, cut into small cubes
1 bunch Kale, washed and trimmed of middle spine and rough chopped crosswise into 2" pieces
1/2 Medium sized red onion, small diced
2 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp Ground turmeric
2 tbsp Tomato paste
4C Chicken broth, homemade or no/low sodium (see my recipe for homemade bone broth)
2 x 15 oz cans of navy beans, drained and rinsed (or other beans like cannelini or kidney)
1. Heat up a large cast iron pot or other heavy-bottom pot over medium heat.
2. For 2 of the 4 sausages, remove the casings and set aside the meat. To the pot, add a bit of oil and cook the other 2 sausages until nicely browned. Set aside to rest. It's important to let them rest so the juices migrate back into the meat.
3. Add the reserved ground sausage (that you removed from the casings) into the pot and cook until almost cooked through, taking out lumps and moving it around with a wooden spoon. Remove from pot and set aside.
4. Toss in the red onions and the salt. Adding the salt with the onions encourages caramelization which equals flavour! Once the onions are beginning to soften, add the cubed butternut squash and saute them until those begin to soften as well but does not need to be fully cooked as they will do so when the entire pot simmers at the end. Next, add the ground turmeric and let the spice bloom for a minute, moving it around a bit with your wooden spoon. Add the tomato paste and again, let it cook a minute or two to intensify it's flavour. It should turn from bright red to a deeper orange.
5. Add the chicken stock into the pot. Use your spoon to scrap up the fond, or the good brown bits at the bottom. Add in the chopped kale. Cover and bring it to a boil, then turn down to a simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, slice up the 2 sausages that have been resting into 1/2" discs.
7. Add the drained and rinsed beans. Bring back to a boil and adjust to heat down to a simmer, uncovered and allow to cook for another 20 minutes. Nestle the sausage links in during the last 10 minutes. If you like to further reduce the amount of liquid, continue uncovered to let it evaporate. Taste it, and season with salt and pepper to your preference.
8. Off heat, let everything sit at least 10 minutes before serving. I find stews and chilis do well with a little time to mingle in the pot to fully develop all the flavours.
9. Serve with toasted crusty bread brushed with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt.