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Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili

April 28, 2011

Back in February I blogged about how I choose recipes to post. I had tried a Black Bean Butternut Squash Chili recipe from Bon Appe’tit that I put the link to, but I didn’t write much about it (except how it made a LOT OF CHILI). But several weeks ago, I tried another black bean chili recipe and this one was perfect. It’s my favorite black bean chili recipe I’ve tried in awhile.

The original recipe (click here) is called Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili and it is from Eating Well. (As you may have noticed, a lot of my recipes are from Eating Well.) However, the sweet potato I had was mouldy and sad. I–happily–put it in the compost (we have recently started composting in a giant black ball that looks like this one here.)

(On a continued side-note, I know that I should have started composting a long time ago, but it was our trip to Koinonia Farm that caused us to realize that we needed to start NOW. So, we got this big ball that looks like a spaceship that can be rolled all around the yard.)

Anyway, with the demise of the sweet potato, I determined that I needed to substitute something that I had plenty of…pumpkin! I used about 3/4 quart of frozen cubed pumpkin in this recipe and it was amazing. This may be the best black bean chili I’ve had in a long time.

Pumpkin & Black Bean Chili

1 T. plus 2 t. olive oil (or other fat, if you wish)

3 C. cubed pumpkin or winter squash–frozen or fresh (You could also add pureed pumpkin if that is all you have. The cubes cook down anyway.)

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 T. chili powder

4 t. ground cumin

1/2 t. ground chipotle chile

1/4 t. salt

2 1/2 C. water

2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed (You can also use dry black beans that you’ve already cooked. Use about  1 1/2 C. dry black beans.)

1 14. oz. can diced tomatoes (or 2 C. home-canned diced tomatoes)

4 t. lime juice

1/2 C. chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until the onion is beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle and salt and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add water and pumpkin. Bring to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook until the pumpkin is tender, 10-12 minutes.

Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase heat to high and return to a simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.

You can also start this earlier in the day and cook it on very low for several hours. Wait until just before serving to add the cilantro because the heat will kill the flavour.

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