The Washington Post

To make a pantry stew a little more seasonal, just add canned pumpkin

- BY AARON HUTCHERSON aaron.hutcherson@washpost.com

As we barrel toward the end of the year, a crisp chill has entered the air where I live. The drop in temperatur­e makes me want to don my comfiest sweatpants, curl up on the couch — or pull up the chair to the dining table if you’re a more civilized person — and enjoy a bowl of something warm and comforting.

Enter this black bean and pumpkin stew.

This recipe starts by toasting whole coriander and cumin seeds along with orzo in olive oil until the pasta is browned and nutty. (Any short pasta will work in this recipe, or you can omit it to make the stew gluten-free.) The whole spices add delightful bursts of flavor and texture when you bite into them for a welcome surprise.

Canned pumpkin puree — ’ tis the season! — gives the stew plenty of body. The pasta helps thicken it a bit, too. The texture is what designates this recipe as a stew as opposed to a soup for me, but feel free to add more stock if you prefer a thinner consistenc­y. Lastly, canned black beans add earthy protein and extra heft, though any bean can work in their place.

An added bonus: This flavorful vegan stew comes together in just 20 minutes and is made from pantry ingredient­s, so you can just reach into your cupboards instead of braving the cold to head to the grocery store. Serve it drizzled with a fruity olive oil on top and some croutons, either homemade or store-bought, for a little bit of crunch and extra flavor.

 ?? PHOTOS BY SCOTT SUCHMAN FOR THE WASHINGTON POST; FOOD STYLING BY LISA CHERKASKY FOR THE WASHINGTON POST ??
PHOTOS BY SCOTT SUCHMAN FOR THE WASHINGTON POST; FOOD STYLING BY LISA CHERKASKY FOR THE WASHINGTON POST

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