CHILEAN BEAN, CORN AND PUMPKIN STEW
This soul-nourishing stew, almost a soup, comes from Chile, where it’s called porotos granados. It’s made of native New World vegetables that have spread all over the world. Don’t feel bound by the ingredients list; improvise freely, as does every cook in Chile.
Makes about 6 servings.
Heat the oil in a large pot and cook the onions to soften them, stirring. Add the garlic and chili pepper, then stir in the paprika and cumin. Add the pumpkin, cranberry beans and tomatoes with 3 cups of water. Simmer for 20 minutes or more, until the pumpkin softens and starts to fall apart and thicken the liquid. Stir in the corn kernels. Add salt and taste carefully for balance of seasonings—you may want to add more cumin or chili, for instance, to suit your palate. Just before serving, throw in a good handful of chopped fresh cilantro or basil.