I know it’s not Fall. But I don’t know where the end of 2010 went. And I certainly don’t know how it’s March. Other than the fact that it’s not dark at 6 p.m., it sure doesn’t look or feel like Spring. So forgive me if I’ve fallen for one of Fall’s most ubiquitous and seasonal ingredients today.
It’s been rather gloomy, wet, and cold (okay, it’s relative) in northern California – in a way that makes me long for a nurturing meal, one worthy of a long hibernation. I’ve come across this recipe a few times. I’ve been skeptical a few times. But, for some reason, today I thought it would be perfect. If you’re afraid the addition of pumpkin is too sweet, don’t be. The flavor is subtle. Mostly, the puree adds a creamy texture to the chili without added fat – but with all the added comfort and nutrition.
Pumpkin Chili, adapted from Babble
Serve with cornbread and side of vegetables. If you’re like us, that means a harvest of all the remaining bok-choy in the garden. Because, yes, we are in California and it’s really not that cold.
3/4 lbs ground beef (or turkey – or omit entirely for a vegetarian or vegan recipe)
1 – 15 oz can dark red kidney beans
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (or more to taste and to thicken chili. Also, be sure to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling)
1 – 28 oz cans crushed or diced tomatoes
2 cups beef stock (or chicken or vegetable)
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder, or more to taste
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped (didn’t have any today)
Freshly ground pepper
- Place a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Brown meat. Add diced onion, diced green peppers and garlic. Cook until translucent, about 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in beans, pumpkin puree, tomatoes, beef broth, cumin, chili powder, dried cilantro and dried oregano. (You may want to use a whisk to incorporate the pumpkin puree fully.) Bring soup to a boil and reduce to a simmer.
- Simmer far at least 1 hour, stirring every 10 – 15 minutes to avoiding scorching at the bottom and sides of the pot. (I walked away. And am looking forward to the date with my kitchen scrub tonight.)
- Makes 4 servings.
Note: This recipe can be prepared in a Crock Pot as well. Just brown the meat and vegetables, then combine all the ingredients in a Crock Pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.