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squash-corn-bean-soup recipe

Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 03:20:05 -0800
From: "andy&shell" (andy.shell@virgin.net)


'"Squash, sweetcorn and beans form a kind of holy trinity in the
cooking of central America. The combination is uniquely satisfying and
packed with nutrients.


Serves 6

200g/7oz dried black beans, soaked overnight
1 tbsp paprika
2 red onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
450g/1Ib peeled and deseeded squash or pumpkin (about 1.5kg/3Ib unpeeled),
into 2.5cm/1in cubes
400g/14oz can of chopped tomatoes
750ml/1pint 7 fl oz vegetable stock
225g/8oz frozen sweetcorn kernels or the kernels from 2 large ears of corn
that cobs?
6 tbsp chopped fresh coriander, optional
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Rinse the black beans then put into a pan with fresh cold
water. Bring to the boil, and boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then cover
and simmer for 30 minutes until tender. Drain well and set
aside. Gently heat a little of the stock with the paprika in a large
saucepan. Add the onions, cover and cook over medium - to - low heat
for 10 minutes.

2 Add the garlic, the squash, the tomatoes with their liquid and
150ml/1/4 pint of the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently
with the lid slightly askew for 10 - 20 minutes, until the squash is
just tender. The cooking time will depend on the variety, if it is
watery, it will soften up quite soon.

3 Puree 3 - 4 ladlefuls of the soup in a food processor, then return
this to the soup remaining in the pan and cook for 5 minutes more.

4 When the squash is reasonably soft, add the beans and pour in the
remaining stock. Season generously with salt and pepper and simmer for
15 minutes (if using fresh beans er I don't think they're in recipe
list). Add the corn and coriander (if using), and cook for another 5
minutes, until the corn is tender.  Ladle into bowls.

Adapted from November 1998 Good Food Magazine

Buying and storing squash - look for hard, heavy fruits with no
blemishes; a warty skin, however, is fine. Provided the skin is
undamaged, whole fruits can be stored for several months in a
frost-free, cool place.

Preparation and cooking- removing the tough skin is laborious but
necessary for fruits that are destined for a stir-fry, soup or
casserole. If you are baking or roasting large segments, however, the
skin can be left in place until after cooking when it is more easily
removed.  Pumpkins can be used in much the same way as other types of
squash. Remember though the flesh tends to be watery and disintegrates
easily, so cooking methods should be chosen to compensate for this.

Nutrition - like most orange-fleshed vegetables, winter squash and
pumpkins contain high levels of carotenes. An average-sized serving of
pumpkin provides just over the recommended daily requirement, while a
chunk of butternut squash provides four times that. Both contain small
but useful amounts of vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin
B6, vitamin E and folate."

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