Bean Stew: The Result

IMG_1740I botched two rounds of dried beans attempting to make a bean, butternut squash, and quinoa stew (recipe from my friend, ellie).
In the third attempt, I used Pope's beans. I'm only just venturing into the world of beans and am woefully simple in my knowledge of the workings of beans. I thought I'd look up the bean to be sure it could substitute for dried pinto beans as I didn't have any and wanted to get started on the stew. I assumed a creamy bean would work in place of the pintos. The Pope's beans, when dried, were smallish, but plumped up from soaking and then from stewing, they doubled or trebled in size. 

The stew is marvelously easy. I don't know where Ellie got the recipe from, but once the beans were soaked for 12 hours (you can substitute two cans of pintos, drained and rinsed), it went lickety split. Into the pot went a sliced up onion IMG_1742and some garlic followed by the paprika. I prefer a heavy hand for paprika. 

The Pope's beans were deliciously delicate and creamy. They complemented the butternut squash in the soup though with the size of the beans, I might bump the amount of squash from one pound to closer to two pounds (you lose a bit in the peel and the seeds, anyway). The quinoa adds a nutty flavor and protein.

I cooked up some organic brown rice that I pick up at the farmer's market. It is rich and chewy, and perfect with the stew.

Andean Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Quinoa

1lb. dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over, soaked in 2 quarts water overnight or for 6 hours.
1 T. Extra Virgin olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 T sweet paprika
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
1 (14 oz) can chopped tomatoes in liquid
1 pound winter squash, such as butternut, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
freshly ground pepper
2 T. fresh chopped basil or parsley

1.  Place the beans and soaking water in a large pot. Add water if necessary to cover the beans  by about 2 inches, and bring to a boil. Skim off foam, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer. gently for about 60 min., or until the beans are tender but intact. Add salt to taste. (Amy and I skipped this whole step and simply opened up 2 cans of beans. It worked fine.)
2.  Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy non-stick frying pan and add the onion. (Ames and I did this directly in the soup pot.) Cook, stirring until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes, and add the paprika. Stir together for about a minute, and add the garlic. (Ames and I doubled the garlic.) Cook, stirring for another minute or two, until  the garlic and onions are very fragrant but not browned, and stir in the tomatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and smell fragrant, 5-10 minutes. (Ames and I ended up adding water for the consistency we wanted.) Remove from the heat and scrape the contents of the pan into the pot of beans. (Here, ames and I just opened the beans, rinsed them and dropped them into the pot, that's why we had to add water.)
3.  Bring the beans back to a simmer, add the bay leaf and the winter squash, and simmer, covered for 30 minutes, or until the squash and beans are thoroughly tender. Add the quinoa and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until the quinoa is translucent and displays the opaque thread. Taste and adjust salt. Add a generous amount of ground pepper. Stir in basil or parsley. (Ames and I skipped the greens.) and simmer for a few more minutes. Serve with crusty bread.


Bean Stew: The Result

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