Autumn Stew Served in a Pumpkin

Most pumpkins you see at the store are grown not for taste but for carving on Halloween. That is why you need to search out a good tasting pumpkin for this recipe. Of course, the stew can also be served in a tureen.


  • 1 cup black-eyed peas (or other legume)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 dried red pepper
  • 1-10 to 12 lb. pumpkin, preferably sugar pumpkin
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. minced jalapeno (or a dash of tabasco sauce)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1 Tbs. flour
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and veined, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 3 to 4 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 cups butternut squash or sweet potato, peeled, and seeded
  • 2 medium zucchini, trimed and cut in 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 ears fresh corn, cut in 1-inch rounds
  • 3 Tbs. fresh cilantro (or parsley), roughly chopped
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • sour cream (optional)


Place the black-eyed peas in a bowl and cover with 4 cups cold water. Let soak overnight. The next day drain the peas, discarding the soaking water.

Place the black-eyed peas in a medium-sized pan with the onion and red pepper, cover with plenty of cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer until the peas are tender, 25 to 45 minutes. Drain and let cool.

Scrub the pumpkin to clean. With a large knife, slice off the top about 4 to 5 inches down from the stem. With a large metal spoon, remove the seeds and fiber from the top and from the inside of the pumpkin. Brush the inside of the pumpkin with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a round glass pie plate or baking dish, and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for about 45 minutes. The pumpkin should be almost tender, but still holds its shape.

In the meantime, in a large Dutch oven, cook the onion in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and jalapeno and cook 1 minute more. Sprinkle the onion mixture with cumin and chile powder and cook another minute. Add the flour and cook stirring for another minute. Add the white wine and tomatoes and water. Stir to bring to a boil. When the mixture has come to a boil, add the squash and simmer 15 to 20 minutes until the squash is slightly soft.

Add the black-eyed peas, the zucchini and the corn, and bring to a boil and simmer 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place the stew in the pumpkin and bake in the 375 degree oven for 15 minutes more. To serve, ladle the stew into bowls, scraping some pumpkin pulp from the shell for each serving. Can serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprigs of cilantro.