Super Sludge - A Wonderbag Recipe

Winter is coming! Yay! I love winter and it'll be my first one in the north, which is mega exciting. I love snuggly jumpers, long nights and hot toddies, but mostly I'm looking forward to constantly having massive bowls of comfort food under my chin.

With cold weather approaching most people understandably like to crack out the slow cooker. For me this means my Wonderbag. I've mentioned this portable, electricity-free little marvel before and am glad to get it going again. I definitely need to try some overnight rice pudding in it. Who doesn't want warm rice pudding for breakfast? I started the slow cooking season with a simple, but extremely bloody tasty black bean and butternut squash stew. It's not the prettiest of meals, but the flavour is incredible for such basic ingredients.

I used dried black beans, but I recommend using tinned ones or cooking them first if you want to make sure they soften in your Wonderbag. Obviously, this may not be so much of an issue in an electric slow cooker, on the hob or in a casserole in the oven, and I'm pretty sure this recipe would work just as well using any of these methods.

So onwards to this pretty on the inside, cuddle of a dish!

Super Sludge - A Wonderbag Recipe
serves 4-6

1 onion, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
2 ribs of celery, sliced
1 cup of black beans, soaked overnight
1/2 a butternut squash, peeled and diced
400g of cherry tomatoes, quatered
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt & pepper
750ml of vegetable stock
splash of oil

  1.  In a large, lidded pan gently heat a little oil and slowly soften off your onion, celery and carrot.
  2. Once soft, stir in your spices, squash, tomatoes and black beans and stir to combine and coat.
  3. Add in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  4. Let it boil for 5 - 10 minutes or so, stir, pop the lid on tightly and pop in the Wonderbag to chill for a few hours. I left mine for about 3 hours, but you could leave it all day in the Wonderbag if you needed. It'll never burn. If you don't have a Wonderbag, this is when you'd transfer the ingredients in to an electric slow cooker or pop in low oven to gently cook for a couple of hours.
  5. Once your sludge is suitably stewed, roughly mash with a masher to make even more super sludgey! You could also use a hand blender, but I think mashing was sufficient.
  6. Serve in big bowls with a splash of Alpro cream and some freshly snipped chives.
  7. Marvel at how something so ugly can be so tasty.
  8. Wonder at the Wonderbag and it's magical cooking abilities.
  9. Also wonder how you're going to present this sludgy brown mess as a tasty dish.
  10. Sludge?
  11. No!
  12. Super Sludge!
  13. Yes.


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