This Hearty Vegetable Fava Beans Pumpkin Stew is inspired by a classic Peruvian dish and makes for a perfect vegan and gluten free dinner meal. Super high in protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and iron. A healthy comfort meal at its finest.
This hearty vegetable pumpkin stew is inspired by a Peruvian recipe which was personally shared with me by a Peruvian university culinary professor. D and I have been traveling in Peru for the last month and while we have mostly been renting apartments I sometimes miss our old couchsurfing days (when you stay with a local for free). So to get the most of both worlds instead of staying with couchsurfers I scheduled a meet up with one.
When I saw on Julio’s profile that he was as passionate as I am about food I knew our meet up would be great. And he did not disappoint. He quickly messaged back saying we could prepare some vegetarian Peruvian food together. Perfect. We met at the grocery store and the shopping began. $5 later we had all the ingredients to prepare a full pot of Locro de zapallo – a hearty Peruvain pumpkin stew popular in the Andean mountain range region. Yay! I could barely contain my excitement.
The important first step in the recipe is to remove the seeds from the aji verde peppers to minimize the spicyness of the dish. Then the peppers, onions, garlic and olive oil all get pureed in the blender together. This sauce smells magical and immediately gets added to the pot. This I find to be the key to this magical hearty vegetable pumpkin stew. I need to start doing this with more recipes – blending a few key ingredients first as the base of the sauce.
Then the diced pumpkin gets added, which is meant to be cooked until soft enough to mash into a puree. The potatoes and the fava beans in this recipe are cooked separately with the reserved cooking liquid being added to the stew for flavoring (in place of a broth) – also brilliant.
Peru has over 2000 different types of potatoes and other tubers – yep 2000 – insane right? So in the US just go with regular potatoes (though Julio used a super colorful tuber as well as a unique Peruvian potato). Julio used cumin and black pepper for seasoning, but I decided to add a bit of curry powder into the mix as well.
Once the pumpkin has been mashed and the liquid added the ears of corn, broken into pieces get added. Peru also has tons of different types of corn with the ones we used light in color with huge corn kernels. Regular US corn will work here too.
At the end of the cooking process the potatoes, fava beans and greens get added to the pot.
Let those cook for a few minutes and your heart vegetable stew is ready.
I absolutely loved this dish. It is super creamy and rich will being packed full of hearty vegetables and complemented with fluffy quinoa.
Fava beans are a super underrated ingredient and now that I’ve been formally introduced to them through my Peruvian travels expect to seem them a lot more in my cooking. They’re packed full of protein, fiber and other vitamins and nutrients.
This recipe is packed full of protein, fiber, vitamins A and C, and iron. You’re going to love it!
Serves 1/4 of the recipe
This hearty vegetable stew with pumpkin and fava beans is inspired by a classic Peruvian dish and makes for a perfect vegan and gluten free meal. Super high in protein, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and iron. A healthy comfort meal at its finest.
10 minPrep Time
45 minCook Time
55 minTotal Time
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 4 aji verde peppers, seeds removed (or other large chili peppers), chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 7 cloves garlic, chopped
- 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups diced pumpkin (or winter sqush, acron squash, butternut squash)
- 2 cups diced peeled potatoes
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- salt, to taste
- 2 ears corn, each cut into 4 segments
- 2 cups fresh (or frozen) fava beans, peeled and halved
- 2 cups chopped collard greens (or spinach)
- Cook quinoa according to package directions.
- In a blender combine aji peppers, garlic, onions and olive oil.
- Puree until smooth.
- Heat large pot over medium-high heat, and add pepper mixture. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add potatoes to a separate pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft when pierced with a fork, but not falling apart. Drain potatoes, reserving the water.
- Add diced pumpkin. Cook 10-15 minutes, until pumpkin has softened. Using a spatula, mash the pumpkin into a puree.
- Add 2 cups of the reserved potato water. Add corn. Add cumin, curry and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.
- In a separate pot add fava beans and cover with water, bring to a boil and cook until soft. Drain, reserving the fava bean water.
- Add 1 cup fava bean water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer.
- Add potatoes, fava beans and collard greens to the pot. Cook for a few minutes.
- Serve over quinoa.