Fresh Cranberry Bean and Corn Skillet Chupe

Serves 4

This is my freeform veggie-filled “chupe”, a thick stew, except that’s more like a hearty juicy skillet meal featuring fresh cranberry beans sauteed with corn, squash and seasoned with abundant South American spices. Fresh cranberry beans are those beautiful big cream and pink streaked pods sometimes found in farmer’s markets or well stocked produce sections. They’re easy to pry open for their equally adorable pink and cream colored beans; if you can’t find fresh beans use rinsed canned cooked cranberry or pinto beans.

Serve this rustic meal with a simple quinoa pilaf, crusty bread or even warm corn tortillas.

1 cup shelled fresh cranberry or bolotti beans (about 1 pounds of beans in the pod)

2 cups diced winter squash (less than 1 pound of fresh squash)

1 bay leaf

pinch salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup diced red onion

2 cups frozen corn kernels or fresh corn kernels

2 teaspoons sweet or hot paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoons dried oregano

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 large ripe tomato, cored and finely diced

½ teaspoon sea salt

A few twists of freshly ground black pepper

handful chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large deep 12 inch skillet bring 4 cups of water, bay leaf and a pinch of salt to boil. Add beans and diced squash, bring to a boil again and lower heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 28-30 minutes, or until beans and squash are very tender. Drain the beans and sweet potatoes and reserve the cooking liquid.

2. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat and fry the onion until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add drained beans and sweet potatoes, sprinkle with cumin, oregano, paprika, and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add corn, lime juice and the diced tomato and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Mixture should look a little bit juicy; if it looks dry add a few tablespoons of the reserved cooking liquid to the pan and cook for another few minutes. Remove from heat, season with salt, pepper and chopped cilantro. Serve with warm tortillas, quinoa pilaf or crusty bread.