Black Bean and Pumpkin Stew

What You'll Need

  • Cast Iron pan or dutch oven
  • large jar or bowl to soak beans
  • peeler and good kitchen knife
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil or butter, for cooking
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes
  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 scallion, sliced
Ingredients for Beans:
  • 2 cups cooked dry black beans or 4 cups pre-cooked canned black beans
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 12 ounces salsa
  • 2 Tbs lime juice

Here’s a hearty meal for the seasonal eater, full-flavored and satisfying. It was given to me by my personal gardening hero, a dedicated woman who grows pounds of dry beans and winter squash to last her family through the winter. The ingredients are flexible; it can also be made with other winter squash; butternut, acorn, kabocha, or different dried beans, such as cranberry or Anasazi. More broth makes it soupier, but we like it best thick as chili, ballast against a winter chill, after a long day of working in the garden.

Serve it with salad as a stand-alone feast, or use it to accompany roast chicken or turkey, Leftovers make a fine enchilada filling, too.

black bean stew

Note: Dry beans must be soaked overnight

Serves 4.


Follow the first step if you are using dried beans. Skip to step 2 if using canned beans.

1) Soak your beans

Soak the dry beans in water overnight, or use 4 cups canned black beans.
soaking dry beans

2) Drain beans

Drain and rinse the soaked beans or canned beans.

3) Cook the beans

In a stockpot, saute the onion and garlic in a tsp of sunflower oil or butter, until golden brown.
Add the chicken broth, cumin, and the soaked beans, and cook until the beans are tender, about 40 minutes (much shorter if the beans are canned.)
Add 12 ounces salsa, and 2 Tbs lime juice; stir to incorporate. 

Set aside.

4) Cook the pumpkin

In a large cast iron pan, heat the oil over medium heat.
Add the onion, garlic, and pumpkin, and saute until the onion is golden.

Add the sherry, and the stock, and simmer until the pumpkin is tender and nearly translucent.

5) Incorporate all your ingredients and simmer

Add the cooked beans, salt, dry spices and vinegar; simmer until the beans are heated through and the flavor of the vinegar has softened.
cooking stew

6) Garnish and serve

Serve topped with green onion.
black bean pumpkin stew

Over to You

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