Based on the Chilean Porotos Granados, this vegan white bean stew includes butternut squash, kale, and fresh basil for a hearty and flavorful one-pot meal.
I’ve been hearing the internet chatter about the wonders of Rancho Gordo beans for a while, but with no Whole Foods in my town (yet), I thought I wouldn’t get a chance to try them unless I ordered them. But then I saw them in The Fresh Market (which I usually call the Froo-Froo Market because of its fancy prices) and couldn’t resist picking up these pretty Yellow-Eye Beans:
First, let me just say–Ouch! That pound of beans cost me $7-something plus tax. Regular old navy beans in Kroger cost less than a dollar a pound, and if I think too long about how many bucks I could be saving for my daughter’s education, I’d never buy fancy beans again.
But these beans were very good–they cooked quickly in the pressure cooker, became tender without falling apart, and, most importantly, are organically grown. I won’t be shelling out the big bucks for them every day, but I was happy with their flavor and eager to try some of Rancho Gordo’s other varieties.
For my first foray into fancy-bean territory, I made a relatively simple stew modeled on a traditional Chilean dish called Porotos Granados, which is usually made with fresh cranberry beans and topped with a pesto-like mixture of herbs (cilantro, basil, parsley) and hot peppers called pebre. To me, the one ingredient that makes the flavor of porotos granados different from other South American bean stews is the fresh basil, so I wanted to try a variation of it while my basil plants were still thriving.
Because I like to make everything I can a one-pot meal by adding veggies, I threw in a bunch of lacinato kale. I skipped the pebre (many of you know my intolerance for cilantro), increased the seasonings significantly, and served it with some Tabasco garlic sauce.
The results were encouraging: My husband loved it, I really liked it, and my daughter E (who currently claims to hate white beans and squash) ate it under protest and thought it contained too much basil. Since I’ve given up on E loving anything but pasta, I consider that a success.
White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale
- 1 pound dried yellow-eye or navy beans soaked overnight or quick soaked
- 1 large onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 5 cups water
- 4 teaspoons smoked paprika divided
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin divided
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 pound winter squash or pumpkin peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (I used butternut)
- 1 large red bell pepper chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper optional, seeded and finely chopped
- 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes fire-roasted preferred
- 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
- 1 bunch kale removed from stems and sliced (about 12 ounces,)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn optional
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- Make sure to rinse your beans first and check for rocks and then soak overnight in cold water. Or do a quick soak by boiling the beans in enough water to cover by an inch for one minute, and then cover and allow to stand for at least an hour. Drain before proceeding with the recipe.
- Heat a pressure cooker or large Dutch oven. (In an electric pressure cooker like the Instant Pot, use the Sauté or Brown setting.) Add the onions and a pinch of baking soda (optional but speeds up the browning). Cook until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
- Add the beans, water, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon cumin, and dried basil to the pot. If pressure cooking, seal your cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes; then perform a quick release. (Choose the Pressure Cooker or Manual setting on your electric pressure cooker and set the time to 8 minutes; release the steam when the time is up.) If cooking in a regular pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until beans are just barely cooked all the way through, 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours. Check pot occasionally and add more water to cover the beans if it seems low.
- Add the squash along with the remaining seasonings, peppers, tomatoes, and salt, if using. Seal the cooker and cook at high pressure for 8 more minutes. Let pressure come down naturally; after 15 minutes, quick release pressure if necessary. For stovetop cooking, add more water if necessary to cover all ingredients. Cover and simmer until beans and squash are very tender.
- Check the seasoning and add more cumin, oregano, or salt to taste. Add the kale and corn and simmer, covered, until the kale is tender. Stir in the basil and cook for another minute before serving.
Nutritional info is approximate.
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mikaelahNovember 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm
I just finished making this soup – and it is DELICIOUS! I used the Rancho Gordo beans andI had some Red Kuri squash – so I used that. Perfect, perfect perfect!!!
SamanthaDecember 1, 2013 at 6:46 pm
This sounds delicious!!! I am going to attempt to make this tomorrow night in my crock pot! Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!
stephanieDecember 5, 2013 at 5:50 am
Oh my gosh! Delicious!
I’ve made this twice since you posted it and it is def a winner. The first time I used black eyed peas and the second time I went with canned cannellinis. Both times the soup was yummy to the max, but I have to admit it was much better with black eyed peas due to the texture of the beans themselves and the texture they imparted to the liquid. Any kind of cow pea should have the same effect as a yellow eye or black eye.
shirley gordonDecember 15, 2013 at 7:47 pm
if i used canned beans how many cans would i use?013
DebbyDecember 23, 2013 at 4:06 pm
Your recipe for White Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Kale was wonderful. I used plain old Navy Beans and replaced the Butternut Squash for a couple of mini pumpkins we had left over from Thanksgiving. Along with topping the soup with the fresh basil, we included fresh squeezed lime juice. Yummy!
Marissa LuckFebruary 8, 2014 at 10:16 pm
Hey Susan! I was wondering when you say “1 pound beans, soaked” do you mean that I should have 1 pound’s worth of cooked beans or that I should soak a pound of dry beans?
Thanks I love your blog! Been a fan for years!
Susan VoisinFebruary 8, 2014 at 10:23 pm
Hi Marissa, I mean that you should soak a pound of dried beans overnight. Thanks for being a loyal reader! I hope you enjoy the recipe!
Marissa LuckFebruary 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm
Thanks Susan! I ended up using dehydrated navy beans and found that 1 pound was roughly a little under 3 cups’ worth of dry beans. I used the quick soak method beforehand and the beans only took about 45 minutes on the stove to become tender.
Also some substitutions were in order because of had in the kitchen! :
– I used a mix of sweet potato and butternut squash since I didn’t have enough squash, and it was delicious.
– I didn’t have a bell pepper so I used more diced tomatoes (I actually used 1 whole 28 oz can of diced tomatoes and used some of the can’s sauce to contribute to the water at the end).
– I added some lemon juice at the very end, along with a touch more paprika and dried basil.
The recipe ended up yielding much more than 6 servings when I made it this way. But it’s great b/c I can freeze the leftovers! : )
Hope those notes help for anyone else who makes this!
TonieFebruary 9, 2014 at 7:04 pm
This recipe will be a keeper!!! I just made it tonight with some leftover kidney beans I had cooked earlier and some butternut squash which I had broiled previously in the oven. The soup was thick and delicious and it looked just like the picture!! Thank you Susan!
SandyFebruary 16, 2014 at 5:48 pm
Just made this and we loved it. I used Great Northern beans. I’ll try Rancho Gordo next time. The leftovers were really good drained and wrapped in tortillas with hot sauce. We had this for breakfast and loved it this way too.
AnneDecember 22, 2014 at 11:19 am
New to pressure cookers. The first part in progress. Bean building pressure. Is this all going to fit in the 6 qt Insta-Pot?
Susan VoisinDecember 22, 2014 at 11:41 am
Yes, the electric pressure cooker I used is the same size as the Instant Pot. Hope you enjoy it!
AnneDecember 22, 2014 at 3:35 pm
Thank you! You’re recipes are the best!
CherylJanuary 21, 2015 at 7:22 pm
This was wonderful. My boyfriend gave it a 10. The only thing I changed is I used leftover half jar of spagetti sauce instead of diced tomatoes because I forgot to buy them at the store.
Vegan JunctionFebruary 16, 2015 at 5:41 pm
Another hearty one. I look forward to trying this one out!
Cindy SApril 13, 2015 at 7:16 pm
We made this soup today, it was HEAVENLY. We used canned white beans and it all cooked up wonderfully. And even without the squash, which I didn’t have on hand, it was very filling. Love the spices!
The smoked paprika turns this into super duper comfort food soup YUMMY!
Kelli-Anne PelletierDecember 31, 2015 at 2:30 pm
I have recently watched the documentary Vegicated. I Have been contemplating slowly turning my family from average meat with every meal family to fish, eggs and dairy to vegan. I have no idea how to go about this change. I was looking up recipes to help shed some too busy to prepare and eat health weight I have put on the last 6 months about 30(I know it’s shameful). So I came across your website. Can you suggest an easy transformation approach or and idiots guide to Vegan book I can look up. Thank you so much for your help.
GN ImagesOctober 26, 2016 at 1:50 am
Sounds like Autumn to me……. thank you for sharing !
MicheleNovember 19, 2016 at 12:16 am
I just bought an electric pressure cooker at costco and am excited to start using it. Can you please explain what it means to let the pressure out naturally versus forcing it? With ours, you turn a knob on the top to lock it while cooking, and then you turn it to release the steam when you are done cooking, and I think those are the only two options.
I am looking forward to trying your recipes, they look delicious!
Michele in Denver
Susan VoisinNovember 19, 2016 at 8:33 am
Hi Michele, a quick release is when you turn that knob to release the pressured all at once. Natural release means that instead of turning the knob, you turn off the cooker and as it cools off, the pressure goes down naturally. In “the old days” of stovetop pressure cookers, that took about 15 minutes, but with these electric cookers being better insulated, it can take longer, so usually after 15 minutes of sitting there unplugged, we turn the knob to release whatever pressure is left and call it a natural release.
I hope you enjoy your new cooker as well as some of my recipes!
tayaDecember 7, 2016 at 3:50 pm
OMG! I have made about a dozen recipes from your site and this might be my favorite – not too spicy, very light. It is exceptional and so healthy tasting. I also picked a random bean since I did not see the one you listed. Still so amazing – and I used kabocha squash. Incredible!
Susan VoisinDecember 7, 2016 at 4:33 pm
I’m so happy you liked it so much!
AnitaMarch 6, 2019 at 5:24 pm
Cindy S did you rinse the canned beans.
AnitaMarch 6, 2019 at 5:35 pm
Cindy S. , How long did you cook the beans? I using a regular pot.
britcherMarch 8, 2019 at 11:50 am
2400 calories for the recipe??
Susan VoisinMarch 8, 2019 at 1:47 pm
I have it as 383 per serving or 2298 for the entire pot.
LentaApril 18, 2019 at 10:04 pm
This recipe was a winner in my family. I made it with yellow-eye peas, butternut squash and corn. Instead of adding fresh basil to the soup, I made pebre sauce (found through the link) for garnish. Pebre sauce is awesome! It made this soup sooo good! It was a lot of ingredients to chop and prepare, but it was worth it.
MaryOctober 18, 2021 at 1:33 pm
I wanted to thank you for this wonderful recipe. I stumbled across it on a vegan instant post fb group. I used half of a good sized kabocha squash and cut into small pieces. I did NOT peel it, as the peel of kabocha is edible and it was organic – and it worked out wonderfully. I’m sure it was more than a pound of squash, maybe by double. Also, I used a jar of diced tomatoes that was 18 oz (vs. 15), but it worked out perfectly. At the very end I got a “burn” signal from the IP, which I know can happen with tomatoes sometimes. But it was done by then. The kabocha really broke down. I even think next time I could cut them a bit bigger to end up with some small chunks.
I can’t tell you how sweet and delicious the kabocha made the stew. Your spices were wonderful!! I didn’t have dried basil so I just omitted it. Also, I only had chard and beet greens and I’m sure used much more than in the recipe. Next time I’ll do kale. But again, it all worked. Your cook times were perfect for my soaked beans. Thank you thank you. This one is a keeper. I highly recommend kabocha as an option.
dmitriOctober 25, 2022 at 3:10 pm
I didn’t have any yellow-eye beans so just used some great northerns I had. I also hate kale (the texture bothers me, plus it’s too strong in flavor for me), so I was going to use spinach, but the store had the same amount of arugula for the same price so I used that instead. The stew was very good and can’t wait to make it again.