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Three Sisters Stew

Serves 6


  • 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


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. 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.
  3. When cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp and cut it into large dice. Set aside until needed.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Hudson Valley Restaurant Week is back this April 8-21!