This is Hugh's version of the traditional Chilean squash and bean stew. It’s wonderfully hearty and warming and, like so many such dishes, even better if you leave it for 24 hours and reheat gently before serving.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or casserole over a medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté gently for about 10 minutes. Add the paprika and 1 tablespoon of the oregano. Cook for another minute.
If using dried beans, drain them after soaking and add to the pan, with the stock and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, or until the beans are completely tender (dried beans vary, and sometimes this may take over an hour). Add the squash, stir well and simmer for 10–15 minutes until the squash is just tender, then add the French beans and corn kernels and simmer for another 5 minutes.
If using tinned beans, add the drained, rinsed beans, the squash, bay leaf and stock at the same time, and simmer until the squash is just tender, 10–15 minutes. Then add the French beans and corn kernels and simmer for a further 5 minutes.
To finish, season well – I use about 1 teaspoon salt and plenty of pepper. Stir in the remaining oregano, leave to settle for a couple of minutes, then serve.
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- A handful of oregano or marjoram, chopped
- 100g small dried beans, such as pinto, navy or cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water, or 400g tin beans, drained and well rinsed
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 750g squash, such as butternut, Crown Prince or onion, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm chunks
- 200g French beans, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces
- Kernels cut from 2 cobs of corn
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Who needs meat? Learn to turn local, seasonal produce into delicious veggie dishes at the River Cottage Cookery School