Winter Soufico - Ikarian Pumpkin Stew with Dried Chiles
This delicious Greek recipe for pumpkin comes from my native Ikaria and I can happily say that it’s one of the many longevity recipes that are plant-based and delicious and that people still cook today. This Greek pumpkin recipe is one of many Greek dishes in which vegetables make for a satisfying, craveable delicious meal. For more great Ikaria longevity recipes, pick up a copy of my book Ikaria: Lessons on Food, Life and Longevity from the Greek Island Where People Forget to Die (Rodale).
- 8 dried red or green peppers or ancho chiles
- 3 pounds fresh pumpkin
- ½ cup extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 3 red onions coarsely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon dried wild Greek mint
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- ½ - 1 teaspoon cayenne optional
- 2-3 tablespoons red wine vinegar to taste
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place the dried chiles in a medium bowl and cover with warm water to rehydrate. Let them sit for 30 minutes, or until soft. Drain and save the water.
Place the pumpkin on a large cutting board and, using a large chef’s knife or serrated knife, cut away the skin. Remove the pumpkin seeds and discard (or wash, dry, and bake in the oven with a little salt and cayenne, as a snack). Cut the pumpkin into 1 ½-inch / 4 cm chunks.
- In a wide pot, Dutch oven, or deep skillet over medium flame, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onions, lower the heat, and cook until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized, about 15 – 20 minutes. Stir the onions occasionally. Stir in the garlic.
- Cut the rehydrated chile peppers into thirds across the width.
- Add the pumpkin to the pot, and stir to coat in the oil. Add the peppers, mint, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper.
- Cook, covered, over low heat, until the pumpkin is tender but not mushy. Gently stir in the vinegar and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove and serve.