February 24, 2015

butternut squash chipotle chili with avocado


With the cold temps and snow falling (at least over most of the states) something warm and hearty sounded good for dinner, and what could be more perfect than chili and cornbread?  Squash are perfect for autumn and winter, not to mention delicious, but it can seem challenging when figuring out how to use them.  This recipe takes a classic and puts a vegetarian spin on it.  Want to add a meat?  You can easily add shredded chicken or ground beef during the last few minutes of cooking.  I finished it off with roasted seeds that I had scooped from the squash, drizzled with olive oil, salt and peppered, and then broiled until brown.  I usually opt to use them instead of throwing them away but that's because I LOVE roasted seeds of any kind.  It's up to you!

Servings 4-6
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 colored bell peppers (red, yellow, or orange), chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash (1½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 + tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo (start with 1/2 tablespoon and add more to taste)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1, 14 ounce can diced tomatoes, including the liquid
  • 3 cups cooked black beans (1 cup dry/2 cans)
  • 1, 14 ounce can vegetable broth (about 2 cups) 
  • course salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 avocados, diced for garnish
  • cilantro, for garnish (optional) 
  • roasted squash seeds, for garnish (optional)

1.  In large dutch oven or stockpot, over medium-high heat, add the oil.  When hot, add the onion, bell pepper, butternut squash, and garlic.  Cook for 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions start to turn translucent. 

2.  Add all of the spices, canned ingredients, and stir until well blended. Bring to a simmer then reduce heat to medium-low.

3.  Cover and cook for about one hour, or until the squash are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves, and if you would like a thicker soup, using a potato masher, mash up some of the squash.  Season to taste with salt and pepper, plus more spices and chipotle if desired.  I also LOVE barbeque sauce in my chili, so I added about 1/4 cup... Mmmmmm!:)

4.  Top with avocado and fresh cilantro.  Enjoy!!!!

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