YOUR HEALTHY PLATE: Pumpkin Chili

If you are looking for something warm, toasty and filling to make for dinner next weekend, give this pumpkin chili a try. Try to make it the previous day if possible, or maybe in the morning. If there’s time to let it simmer on a very low heat for a few hours, do so. When it’s done, just turn off the heat, let it sit for 10-15 minutes, and then serve. It is a perfect October meal-in-one, the cornmeal is already built in, and it’s rich in beans and veggies, my two favorite foods!

  • 3 lb. butternut squash or pie pumpkin
  • 2 medium turnips
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 c. finely ground whole cornmeal (NOT “degerminated”)
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 c. vegetable broth
  • 2 10-oz. cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 16-oz. can kidney (red) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 16-oz. can cannellini (white) beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 c. frozen corn
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar

Peel squash (or pumpkin) and turnips, cut into 1-inch cubes, and set aside. In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is shimmering, whisk in cornmeal a little at a time until smooth. Add warm water 1 Tbsp. at a time if it starts to get too thick. Stir in pumpkin, turnip, bell peppers, onion, garlic and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.

Add broth, tomatoes, beans and corn. Stir in chili powder, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric. Reduce heat, return to simmer, and cook 1 ½ – 2 hours or more until squash (or pumpkin) and turnip are tender.

Season with salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Taste and add more if desired. Serve with bowls of chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream if the spirit mo-oo-oo-ooves you. Serves 8-10.

Original version from thekitchn.com — thank you!

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