I have really been trying to make a concerted effort to prepare at least 2 meatless meals per week. It took 20 years, but my husband is finally on board with it.
It is hard for the body to digest animal protein on a daily basis (sometimes I eat meat or chicken twice a day....lunch and dinner), so I just feel better about my body when I prepare a vegetarian meal.
I promise you, you won't miss the meat in this dish.
This is a traditional Chilean bean stew, known as Porotos Granados, usually made with fresh pumpkin and cranberry beans.
This recipe uses butternut squash and kidney beans instead.
It was excellent, especially with the smokey Spanish paprika oil drizzled in at the end.
Great for a chilly night.
Bean, Corn & Squash Stew: (adapted from Food & Wine)
1 quart water
1 1/2 lb. butternut squash, cut into 1" cubes
4 cups corn kernels (I used a 16oz. bag of frozen corn)
one 19 oz. can of kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup of good mild olive oil
1 tsp of good Spanish SMOKED paprika (hot or sweet)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 green pepper, roughly chopped
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
To make the chili oil, add 1/4 cup olive oil in a small saucepan and add 1 tsp of smoked paprika. Heat on low until fragrant and set aside.
In a heavy large pot, bring the quart of water to a boil and add the corn and cut up squash. Simmer over low heat about 15 minutes until squash is tender. Add the kidney beans at the last minute just to heat.
Transfer 2 cups of the squash corn mixture along w/ some liquid to a blender and puree with the chopped basil.
(Instead of dirtying my blender, I use a hand immersion blender in a large plastic measuring cup).
Add the puree back into the soup pot along with the solids.
In a separate small skillet, saute the onions and peppers in some olive oil about 6 minutes until cooked, add the cumin and oregano in at the last minute of stirring.
Add the peppers and onions to the soup/stew.
To serve, ladle the stew into bowls and add the smoked paprika oil, salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired!