Chileans love beans and have a vast repertoire of bean recipes. But this one, thickened with corn and pumpkin, is the national favorite. It's usually served as a first course, but it makes a luscious side dish with grilled or roasted meats.
Warming Soup Recipes
4 cups fresh or frozen shelled beans (about 1 1/2 pounds), such as kidney beans, cranberry beans, black-eyed peas or lima beans
3/4 pound pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2 cups)
In a large heavy casserole, combine the beans with the pumpkin, chicken stock and water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the beans are barely tender, about 15 minutes, depending on the size and type of bean.
Heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion and carrot and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add this mixture to the beans and simmer for 15 minutes longer.
Add 1 cup of the corn kernels to the beans. Puree the rest of the corn in a blender. If the puree is very dry, add a ladle of the bean cooking liquid. Stir the corn puree and basil into the beans and simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring frequently; the corn puree will thicken the stew. If it gets too thick, thin the stew with hot water; it should be slightly runny. Taste; adjust the seasonings.
Heat the oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic and cook over moderate heat until golden, about 2 minutes; discard the garlic. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the paprika. Drizzle the stew with the paprika oil and serve hot.
The stew and paprika oil can be refrigerated separately for up to 2 days.
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