Chilean Bean Stew
The French and the Spanish have had a strong impact on the development of Chilean cuisine, but this stew, one of Chile's national dishes, remains true to its Mapuche Indian origins. You can also make this dish with cranberry beans; simply substitute 2 lbs. fresh shelled cranberry beans for the navy beans and add at step 3.
2 cups dried navy beans, soaked overnight and drained
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tbsp. sweet paprika
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
3 cups fresh pumpkin or winter squash, cut into cubes
1 1⁄2 cups fresh or frozen lima beans
1 1⁄2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from about 2 ears)
2 tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Place navy beans in a medium saucepan. Add enough water to cover, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer just until tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt. Set aside in cooking liquid.
2. Heat oil in a large sauté pan (with a lid) over medium-low heat. Stir in paprika, then add onions and cook until soft, about 15 minutes.
3. Add navy beans, 3 1⁄4 cups bean cooking liquid, pumpkin, and lima beans to onions. Cover and simmer over low heat just until pumpkin begins to soften, about 30 minutes. Add up to 1⁄4 cup water if mixture becomes too dry.
4. Stir in corn and basil and cook, uncovered, until corn is tender and sauce is thick, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.