Porotos Granados. Is it a soup? Is it a stew? No-one will ever know. This version of the Spanish dish is confused but happy. Like me a lot of the time. I guess you could call it a chunky soup. Not that it particularly matters. Why do we always feel as though we have to define everything? What if you don’t want to be the ‘girl next door’ or the ‘crazy bitch’ or the ‘cute geek’? This dish could be feeling the exact same thing. It doesn’t want to be pinned down by labels, nuh-uh! It’s its own individual self. Quirks and all. It’s sweet from the butternut squash and corn, slightly spicy from the smoked paprika, creamy from the sweet potato and borlotti beans and just damn delectable with the addition of oregano and caraway seeds. And Asparagus is in season, big yay! Sure, you’re always going to face the conundrum of whether to eat it with a spoon or a fork, but if that’s the biggest issue you face for the day I think you can handle it. Why, try both! No, not one in each hand…ah you know what I mean.
Tuesday night was an important night indeed. Twas the first meal I prepared in a new kitchen. New kitchens: always a frightening prospect. But exciting too! In that confused kind of way. Hmm confusion appears to be a theme today. Hence the fall back on a familiar dish. One that didn’t involve much brain-power. Apart from when one was required to improvise a lid for the very large frying pan she was using instead of a pot. The solution? A baking tray! Would recommend if you find yourself in a similar situation. When there’s a will there’s a way folks. However, do remember to use an oven glove to remove the said ‘lid’ – it’ll result in ouchie fingers otherwise. Not talking from experience…
Cooking for one means plenty of left-overs. Always a bonus for those emergency nights when you simply don’t have a spare second to prepare anything. Being prepared peeps. It’s where it’s at. Adulting for sure. A big bowl of this is more than satisfying just as is – you’ve got sweet potato to cover your carbs checkbox – however, it also goes down a treat with some sourdough bread or even flat breads. I improvised again by rummaging up a wrap (gotta find a way to use up a packet of eight, eeek) and some hummus, and that worked too! Garnish with fresh basil or oregano for an extra pop of freshness (sadly I did not have any on hand) and be sure to give it a good grind of black pepper! You really can’t go wrong with this soup/stew/substance of sorts…as long as you cut the butternut squash smaller than the sweet potato so that it breaks down and creates a slightly thicker sauce you’ll be right. And even that isn’t a live or die sitch…I may or may not have forgotten to do it this time round and it still tasted a treat!
Serves 4 (when accompanied by a starch).
2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp caraway seeds
400g can borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
300g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
350g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
2 bay leaves
1 litre vegetable stock
250g asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3cm pieces
310g can corn kernels, drained
½ tsp salt plus extra salt and pepper to taste
Fresh oregano or basil to garnish (optional)
Place a large saucepan or deep frying pan (with a lid) over medium heat and warm the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Now add the garlic and cook for a further 4 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent it burning. Sprinkle in the paprika, oregano and caraway seeds and cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. It will be nice and fragrant at this point!
Toss in the borlotti beans, sweet potato, butternut squash and bay leaves. Stir well and then pour the vegetable stock over the top. Cover and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is just tender and the butternut squash is beginning to break down.
Throw in the asparagus and corn kernels and season with ½ tsp salt. Simmer, uncovered, for a further 5 minutes or until the asparagus is just only just tender (it will continue to cook when you turn off the heat).
Remove the pot from the heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes prior to serving.
Serve with salt and pepper to taste, and your choice of starch – sourdough bread or flatbreads are both tasty accompaniments! Garnish with fresh oregano or basil if you have it to hand.
Will keep in an airtight container for 3 days. Also freezes well for up to 5 months.
Source: A Taste Without Waste original.