Southwestern Vegetable Stew
- 4 tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped Onion ( 1/2 large)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 3 ripe medium tomatoes, halved, seeded and chopped (4 cups)
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 1 tsp. molasses
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium or 2 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/8-inch-thick
- slices (2 1/2 cups)
- 1 cup fresh corn (2 ears)
- 19-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained, or 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans
- 1/2 tsp. cider vinegar
- Chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges, and avocado slices for garnish (optional)
- 4 dried New Mexico chilies ( 1/2 oz.), stemmed and seeded
In dry heavy skillet, preferably cast-iron, toast chilies over medium heat until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds per side. Remove from heat; cool. Tear chilies into small pieces, discarding any remaining seeds. Set aside.
In large heavy saucepan, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add Onion and cook, stirring often, until lightly golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, broth, molasses and reserved chilies; increase heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
In blender or food processor, in batches, puree tomato mixture until smooth. Pass mixture through fine-meshed sieve into bowl. Set aside.
In Dutch oven or deep sauté pan, heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add both bell peppers, zucchini and corn; season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. Add black beans and reserved tomato mixture; bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are just tender, 1 to 2 minutes more. Stir in vinegar. Just before serving, garnish with cilantro, lime wedges and avocado if desired.