Friday, November 7, 2008

Three Sisters Vegetable Stew - vegetarian recipe

Native Americans-First Nation Peoples-American Indians call corn, beans, and squash the Three Sisters. Here's my version as a nice, warming vegetable stew.

Three Sisters Vegetable Stew

1 quart field peas, butterbeans, butter peas, black-eyed peas, or limas
1 vegetarian bouillon cube (with salt added)
1 quart frozen or 4 cups sliced fresh summer squash of choice, defrosted if using frozen
Fresh corn from 3 cobs, sliced twice around the cob and any remaining corn juice pressed out with the back of the knife
1 medium or 1/2 large onion, chopped
3 tbs good olive oil
1 tbs butter
1/2 tsp salt

In large saucepan bring the peas and vegetarian bouillon cube to a boil in 2 cups water. Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Add squash, return to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for another 20 minutes.

In the meantime, slice off the corn off the cobs and rescue any corn juice you can get. In a skillet heat olive oil and butter on medium high until butter is bubbly, then add corn and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss around for about 15 minutes or so until most of the non-fat liquid is gone.

After the peas and squash finish the 20-minute simmer, stir in the corn and fanatically clean the skillet into the saucepan. Every smidgen in the corn skillet will be exquisite and must be put into the saucepan. Add remaining 1/2 tsp salt.

Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Correct seasoning and serve. Makes six to eight servings, or four to five servings for hungry folk. Really nice as a leftover or to take in a thermos for lunch.

Notes: An alternative is to omit the corn and serve the peas-squash-onion stew over cornbread with lots of pot liquor. For people unaccustomed to non-meat meals, the cornbread would add welcomed texture and satiety. I plan to omit the corn and make jalapeno cornbread next time to see what that's like.

Another plan is to brown a pound of ground beef along with the onion in the skillet and drain fat, before adding the corn, but that would be a different sort of dish and of course non-vegetarian. But likely tasty. I might omit the corn if I use ground beef and just serve it over cornbread. Many possibilities! :D My brother the hunter would vote for venison instead of ground beef. He's welcome to it. :p

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