This is quintessential winter food. It may be plant-based, but the chipotle adds an extra smokey, meaty flavor to this cozy dish. Eat this hearty stew with a piece of good cornbread or a... bowl of brown rice, and you’ll have a perfectly balanced vegetarian supper.
Heat a stockpot over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds and toast for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the olive oil and garlic and cook until it just begins to turn golden. Add onions, peppers, and a sprinkle of salt. Saute until the onion starts to turn transparent.
Add collards and cook until they begin to wilt. Add kabocha, mix well, and partially cover. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the kabocha begins to soften.
Add tomatoes and cook over high heat until they begin to turn orangey-red. Add the black-eyed peas, chipotle, and enough water or broth to just cover the vegetables. Lay a cilantro stem on top, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until the kabocha is soft.
Remove the cilantro and taste for salt. Stir in the arugula or spinach, if using. Let the stew sit for another 5-10 minutes. Serve with our Cornbread.
Try cooking your own black-eyed peas for this dish. The extra flavor makes it worth the trouble.