White Bean Stew with Winter Squash
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 cubed winter squash or pumpkin (I used butternut), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire-roasted preferred)
1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 bunch kale (about 12 ounces), removed from stems and sliced
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. 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. Bring to a boil. If pressure cooking, seal your cooker and bring to high pressure. Cook at high pressure for 8 minutes; then perform a quick release. 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.