Despite its departure from authenticity, one could say that the recipe below has a Peruvian soul and an American body. Loosely adapted from a popular pumpkin stew called locro de zapallo, this version skips hard-to-source ingredients like ají amarillo and choclo for chili flakes and sweet corn.
medium-sized butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch cubes (approximately 5 cups)
large Yukon Gold potato, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes (approximately 2 cups)
vegetable or chicken broth
frozen shelled edamame (fava beans work here, too)
frozen corn kernels
finely-chopped fresh basil
fresh mozzarella, diced into 1-inch cubes
Salt and pepper to taste
In This Recipe
Heat oil in a large pot or over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until onions turn a light golden brown, about 7 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic. Cook, stirring often until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add butternut squash, potatoes, and broth. Stir to combine. Raise the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for approximately 10 minutes.
Remove cover from the pot, and add the edamame and corn. Cook, uncovered, for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Stir in cream and chopped basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve in bowls topped with fresh mozzarella. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.
I was born in Peru to a Limeño father and a Texan mother. We moved to Miami when I was five, and I grew up in the "Kendall-suyo" neighborhood—often called the 5th province of the Inca Empire because of its large Peruvian population. I've been writing about food since I was 11 years old, and in 2016 I received a master's degree in Gastronomy from Boston University. A travel columnist at Food52, I'm currently based in Hollywood, Florida—another vibrant Peruvian community—where I am a writer, culinary tour guide, and consultant.