This is the River Cottage take on a traditional Chilean squash and bean stew. Great if sweetcorn is in season but frozen is fine too. Choose whatever green things you have to hand or in the freezer! It’s perfect recipe for the coming cooler days
2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
A handful of oregano or marjoram, chopped (optional)
100g small dried beans such as pinto, black or cannellini soaked overnight in cold water OR 400g tin beans drained and rinsed
750g squash, such as butternut, crown prince or onion squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into 2cm chunks
1 bay leaf
1-litre vegetable stock
200g spinach, or shredded spring greens, or French (or runner!) beans, cut into 2cm pieces
200g frozen sweetcorn kernels (or kernels cut from 2 cobs of corn)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
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 mins, or until the beans are completely tender (dried beans vary and sometimes this may take over 1 hour). Add the squash, stir well, 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.
If using tinned beans, add the drained, rinsed beans, the squash, with the stock and bay leaf. 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 with salt and plenty of pepper. Stir in the remaining oregano if using, leave to settle for a couple of minutes, then serve.