Corn, Bean, & Pumpkin Stew
This is one of the farm’s favorite fall soups. The veggies and beans are available in the farmstand in season, and the spice combination is warming and delicious. In years past we made this soup for pumpkin festival, it was always a crowd pleaser!
The recipe was adapted from The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison.
- 1 c. pinto beans soaked overnight & drained
- 1 lb tomatoes fresh or canned, peeled and chopped (juice reserved)
- 1 1/2 c. corn, kernels
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp oregano (can use fresh from our PYO herb garden)
- 1-inch piece cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 4 T corn oil or light olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 T paprika
- 2 c. bean broth or vegetable stock
- 3 c. winter squash peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes (Long Island Cheese, pumpkin or butternut squash, are all great in this recipe)
- 2 serrano chilies seeded and finely chopped
- cilantro fresh, chopped for garnish
Pre-soak beans for at least 8 hours. Rinse well, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt, cover and cook in a 325-degree oven for about 1 1/2 hours, or until beans are tender. (I learned this technique of cooking beans from an Italian cookbook and now use it for ALL my beans. It works well each time and much easier than stovetop monitoring.) Drain and reserve cooking liquid.
Warm a small heavy skillet and toast the cumin seeds until their fragrance emerges; then add the oregano, stir for 5 seconds, and quickly transfer the spices to a plate or bowl so they don’t burn. Combine them with the cinnamon and cloves. Grind to a powder in an electric spice mill.
Heat the oil in a wide skillet and saute the onion briskly over high heat for 1 minute; then lower the heat to medium. Add the garlic, the spices, the paprika and 1 tsp salt. Stir well to combine; add 1 cup reserved bean broth or stock and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft. Next, add the tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Then, add the pumpkin or winter squash along with another cup of bean broth or stock.
After 20-30 minutes, or when the pumpkin is about half-cooked, soft but still too firm to eat, add the corn, beans, and fresh chiles. Thin with the reserved tomato juice, adding more broth or stock as necessary. Cook until the pumpkin is tender. Check the seasoning, and add more salt if necessary. Serve garnished with the chopped cilantro or parsley.
photos: CCF staff