Southwestern Stew on Soft Polenta
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ½ tsp ground coriander
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2½ cups peeled, cubed winter squash, such as butternut or delicata (¾-inch pieces)
- 1 large all-purpose potato, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp. salt, or more to taste
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- ½ tsp. dried basil
- large pinch ground cinnamon
- Freshly ground pepper or cayenne, to taste
- 1 recipe basic polenta (soft version)
- finely chopped red bell pepper for garnish
- 1½ tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
- In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes.
- Stir in garlic, flour, cumin, chili powder and coriander and cook, stirring often, 1 minute.
- Stir in broth, squash, potato, corn, bay leaf and salt. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to low, cover partially and simmer 15 minutes.
- Stir in tomato paste, basil, cinnamon and pepper; cover partially and simmer gently until flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- About 35 minutes before you plan to eat, make soft polenta. When it is almost done, rewarm stew over low heat.
- Spoon portions of polenta into large, shallow soup bowls, making wide depression in center. Spoon some stew into each depression, garnish with chopped bell pepper and serve right away.