Peanut-Pumpkin Stew with Hominy

This hearty fall stew recipe is from Ashleigh Shanti, the chef behind Benne on Eagle, a James Beard Award-nominated restaurant in Asheville, North Carolina. Shanti has become one of the Southern food world's rising stars for her original takes on Appalachian soul food. Here, roasted pumpkin combines with peanuts, garlic, ginger, paprika, cayenne pepper, and hominy giving the dish spicy, nutty flavor and plenty of texture. Shanti likes to cook with ingredients native to the region, including things that have been locally foraged, like wild nettle leaves, which she blanches before adding them to the stew. If you can't find edible nettle leaves locally (from a trusted source) baby spinach is a good substitute, and doesn't require blanching. When selecting a pumpkin, choose a medium-sized sugar or pie pumpkin, not the large variety used for jack o'lanterns. If pumpkins aren't available, an equal amount of butternut squash can be used instead. Make Pumpkin-Peanut Stew with Hominy for a delicious and filling vegetarian dish that will warm your soul.

Ashleigh Shanti's Peanut-Pumpkin Stew with Hominy
Photo: Peter Frank Edwards; Prop Styling: Kendra Surface; Food Styling: Anna Hampton
Cook Time:
25 mins
Active Time:
35 mins
Bake Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins


  • 3 cups diced peeled pumpkin (from 1 medium pumpkin)

  • ½ cup chopped blanched raw peanuts, plus more for garnish

  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled

  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided

  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil

  • ¾ cup diced yellow onion (from 1 small onion)

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

  • 4 cups unsalted vegetable broth, divided

  • 1 ½ cups cooked hominy (from 1 [15-oz.] can)

  • 1 ½ cups baby spinach

  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ½ teaspoon paprika

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss together pumpkin, peanuts, garlic cloves, and 1 tablespoon of the grapeseed oil in a large bowl. Spread in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet. Bake until pumpkin is tender, about 40 minutes, stirring halfway through cook time.

  2. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil and remaining 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil in a medium-size Dutch oven over medium-high. Add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until tender, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Set aside until ready to use.

  3. Remove pumpkin mixture from oven; let cool 5 minutes. Carefully remove and discard skins from garlic cloves. Place pumpkin mixture, peeled garlic, and 1 cup of the broth in a blender. Secure lid on blender, and remove center piece to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.

  4. Add pumpkin puree, hominy, spinach leaves, salt, paprika, cayenne, and remaining 3 cups broth to onion mixture in Dutch oven. Bring to a simmer over medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes. Ladle into 6 bowls; garnish with peanuts.

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