Pumpkin Chili

Those of you who follow my blog know that I have been trying to come up with creative ways to use a humongous pumpkin, all thirty-seven pounds of it, which we bought at the farmers’ market a few weeks ago. This recipe combines that fall favorite with another, chili!

Start by dicing two medium onions and peeling a head, yes the entire head, of garlic. The garlic will go through the garlic press to get finely minced.

Next, dice up the peppers! I used what I had on hand…feel free to do the same. So, one red, one yellow, one orange, a couple purple, two poblanos, and three small hungarian peppers get a nice rough dice. Leave the long green chilis whole, they will go in as in for flavor and get pulled out at the end.

All the veg goes into a skillet heated over medium heat, with one turn of olive oil. Saute for a few minutes and then add in the minced garlic. Saute an additional minute or so to marry the flavors. Into your favorite crock pot they go!

Now, for the star of the show, the pumpkin! Cut your farm fresh pumpkin into half-inch cubes. You will need six cups worth! Drizzle with some olive oil, salt and pepper for the first layer of flavor. Toss well, and into the crock pot it goes.

Next I added three cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Whatever diced tomatoes you have in your cupboard would work, I do prefer the unsalted ones though so I control how much salt goes into our food.

Three cans of rinsed, drained navy beans get added in next. I think black beans would also work well. If you are more ambitious, dried beans would work wonderfully as well. If using canned like I did, make sure you rinse and drain them so you don’t get all the added sodium.

Look at those beautiful beans! The crock pot is starting to get contentedly full at this point.

The spices….first some nutmeg and cinnamon get grated in.  In my mind, you can not enjoy pumpkin without these two. It is hard to estimate amounts when grating. Possibly a few teaspoons of each. Next a few teaspoons of ancho chili powder and chipotle morita flakes get added. These add heat, but also an amazing smoky flavor. If you do not have them, substitute chili powder and red chili flakes. Add in sea salt to taste. You want to start out gently with the spices. You can always adjust to taste later.

The last addition is three cups of unsalted vegetable broth. Feel free to substitute whatever broth you have on hand, even tomato juice would work well. Stir well to combine and put the lid on. Set the crock pot on low and forget about it for seven to eight hours.

When you return later, this is what you will see. I can not even find the words to describe how the house smells. Spicy, smoky, balanced with some sweetness? Walking into the house after a long day to these smells? Absolutely made my day!

Ladle into your favorite bowl and enjoy! I couldn’t think up the perfect side so I served this one all on its own with no complaints.

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About Melissa's Menu

Self-taught home cook. I love being in the kitchen, it brings me happiness and joy. In the kitchen, I can relax and let my creativity flow. View all posts by Melissa's Menu

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