- 1 small sugar pumpkin or 1 large butternut or carnival squash (about 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium green or red bell pepper, cut into short, narrow strips
- One 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans (about 3/4 cup raw), or one 16-ounce can, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups corn kernels (from 2 large or 3 medium ears)
- 1 cup vegetable stock homemade or canned or water
- 1 or 2 small fresh hot chiles, seeded and minced, or one 4-ounce can chopped mild green chiles
- 1 teaspoon each: ground cumin, dried oregano
- 3 to 4 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Halve the pumpkin or squash and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Place cut side up in a shallow baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake 40 to 50 minutes, or until just done but still firm.
- When cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp and cut it into large dice. Set aside until needed.
- Heat the oil in a soup pot. Add the onion and saute over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to saute until the onion is golden.
- Add the pumpkin or squash dice and all the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and bring to a simmer. Simmer gently, covered, until all the vegetables are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- If time allows, let the stew stand 1 to 2 hours before serving, then heat through as needed. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro. The stew should be thick and very moist, but not soupy; add additional stock or water if needed. Serve in shallow bowls.