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.
Note: Dry beans must be soaked overnight
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.
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.
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.
6) Garnish and serve
Serve topped with green onion.
Over to You
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