Three Sisters Stew


Named for the three staple First Nation crops (corn, beans, and squash). This version betrays Pazi's Pacific Rim leanings just a bit, using a Himalayan bean (azuki, the slightly sweet red beans) and a couple of seasonings from that area. It's a hearty sweet stew with a very versatile flavor -- a change in the spices can easily bring out savory or spicy aspects, and it can even feature all three at once without getting too complicated. Perfect for a cool spring evening, with cornbread.


The beans

4 cups azuki, soaked overnight and boiled for three hours with 2 teaspoons brown sugar

The Squash

1 medium-sized butternut squash, seeded and cut into chunks, baked for about an hour and a half (or until squishy), then peeled to yield 2 cups of squash meat.

The rest:

1 carton of tomato soup

2 cups corn off the cob

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tsp allspice

2 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp brown sugar

2 tsp salt

2 tsp shoyu (soy sauce)

Hickory liquid smoke and Tabasco green sauce to taste

Mash the squash and cook with beans and tomato soup covered, medium heat for 15 minutes. Add sugar, soy sauce, salt, allspice and chili powder. Cook 15 more minutes, add liquid smoke and green sauce, serve. Plenty of leftovers.