Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Three Sisters Stew

This stew gets it's name from the three main ingredients: beans, corn, and winter squash = the Three Sisters. The Native Americans planted the 3 vegetables together. The corn acted as the support for the beans, the beans provided nitrogen for the soil, and the winter squash grew along the ground keeping the weeds down.

This is a perfect stew to have on a cold winter evening. It's hearty without being heavy. It's spiced similarly to chili so it tastes like it's slightly sweeter cousin. The large lima beans are a great change from the kidney beans we use in chili. Jon said this was his favorite soup that I make (not including chili which he considers in a separate category because of the meat). This recipe makes a ton of soup which is fine by me. I love to make a big pot of soup on the weekend and then have it for my lunch all week long. Hot soup and a good piece of bread.... it doesn't get much better when it's cold outside. Three Sisters Stew (adapted from Cookus Interruptus recipe)

1 lb. dried lima beans, soaked overnight

8-10 cups of chicken stock

2 tsp. cumin

3 Tbsp. olive oil or butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2-4 tsp of salt (depending on the salt level of the stock)

1 tsp. dried oregano

2 tsp. chili powder

4-5 cups peeled and chopped winter squash (butternut works well)

1/2 can of tomato paste

3 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

Drain soaking water off beans. Place beans, 4-6 cups of stock and 1 tsp. of cumin in a pot; bring to boil. Make sure there's enough stock to just cover the beans. Add more stock if the level gets lower. Cover and simmer until beans are tender (about an hour). I took out the lima bean peels that came off of some of the beans as they cooked. You can leave them in if they don't bother you. Transfer the beans to a heat-safe container while you make the rest of the soup.

Heat the pot and add oil. Add onion and salt and saute until onion is soft. Add remaining cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Cook for 30 seconds. Add squash and tomato paste along with a few cups of broth; enough to just barely cover the squash. Bring to a simmer and cook until the squash is tender.

Add cooked beans and corn to the pot with the squash. Add additional broth if needed to get the desired consistency. Less broth = thicker stew. Check seasonings and serve hot.

Makes 8-10 large servings.


katiegirl said...

Looks good, definitely a good winter meal!

Jennifer said...

Looks so good. I love a good soup & bread in the fall & winter.

Momma/Deb said...

Boy does that look good!! I love hearty soups and homemade bread! After eating that, then you cuddle up in front of your woodstove - perfect winter evening! Oh, thanks for the idea of cooking a whole chicken in the crockpot! It was so delicious and then Mark used the blender to emulsify the aromatic veggies cooked with the chicken to make a wonderful 'gravy'. With homemade mashed, it was a fantastic meal to eat while we watched Jimmy Johnson race into his 6th Championship! I made Mark a cake and used Jimmy blue in the icing! he he Fun! I will be trying that soup soon! Love you, Momma

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