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Slow-Cooker Hearty Farro and Butternut Squash Stew

Why This Recipe Works

For a vegetarian stew that was so flavorful and substantial even carnivores would be satisfied, we began with sweet, nutty farro and added mushrooms for meaty depth and butternut squash for substance. To start, we microwaved the mushrooms and aromatics with just a teaspoon of oil until the mushrooms softened, released some of their moisture, and were flavored by the aromatics. Vegetable broth worked well for the cooking liquid and provided a subtly sweet backbone. To give it a boost, we stirred in some white wine, which contributed complexity and brightness to our hearty stew. We cooked the squash in a foil packet on top of the stew to make sure it would retain its sweet flavor and bright color. Fresh, peppery arugula provided color and freshness.

Ingredients

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1 ½ pounds cremini mushrooms, trimmed and quartered
1 onion, chopped fine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 cups vegetable broth, plus extra as needed
1 cup whole farro
¼ cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper
1 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (4 cups)
5 ounces (5 cups) baby arugula
Nutritional Information

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving (Serves 6)

  • Calories 254
  • Cholesterol 0g
  • Fat 6 g
  • Sodium 1272 mg
  • Saturated 0 g
  • Carbs 44 g
  • Trans 0g
  • Dietary Fiber 7 g
  • Monounsaturated 4 g
  • Sugar 8 g
  • Polyunsaturated 1 g
  • Protein 9 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Instructions

Serves 6

Do not substitute pearl, quick-cooking, or presteamed farro for the whole farro in this recipe; you may need to read the ingredient list on the package carefully to determine if the farro is presteamed. Serve with grated Parmesan, if desired.

1. Microwave mushrooms, onion, tomato paste, garlic, and 1 teaspoon oil in covered bowl, stirringly occasionally, until vegetables are softened, 8 to 10 minutes; transfer to slow cooker.

2. Stir broth, farro, wine, bay leaves, and 1/2 teaspoon salt into slow cooker. Wrap squash in foil packet; lay packet on top of stew. Cover and cook until farro is tender, 10 to 12 hours on low or 7 to 9 hours on high.

3. Transfer foil packet to plate. Discard bay leaves. Carefully open packet (watch for steam) and stir squash along with any accumulated juice into stew. Stir in arugula, 1 handful at a time, and let sit until wilted, about 5 minutes. (Adjust stew consistency with extra hot broth as needed.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle each portion with 1 teaspoon oil before serving.