Autumn brings with it cooler temperatures, the ability to wear boots without sweating to death and delicious fall vegetables, such as the versatile butternut squash. It also means a whole lot of comfort food, and what better comfort food than chili?
Chili can be quite polarizing. The beans-or-no-beans debate alone can leave you weary. And don’t get us started on the hot and spicy factor. Some people won’t consider chili the real thing unless it’s hotter than lava and burns its way through your digestive track. And what about vegetarians, who may want to partake in a bowl of chili, too?
Never fear, vegetarian and omnivorous amigos! Food blogger Judah Kelber shared his recipe for butternut squash vegetarian chili that will satisfy without scalding your taste buds off — unless that’s your cup of tea, of course, in which case, adjust the spices to fuel that burn.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 medium onions, diced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 ounces tomatoes, chopped (canned), in puree
10 ounces corn, frozen, unthawed
1 cup vegetable broth (you may need more broth if you see that it’s cooking off too fast)
2 teaspoons cumin, ground
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
16 ounces black beans (canned), drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese, optional
Sour cream, optional
Heat the oil in a large pot, add first 11 ingredients and cook on low heat (bubbling) 45 minutes. Add black beans and continue to cook for one hour. Sprinkle with cheese or top with a dollop of sour cream. (Or why not both?)
No time to wrestle a butternut squash? No time to chop up ingredients? Get a container of cubed fresh butternut squash and look for Mirepoix. While you’re at the shop, grab one 14-ounce can of tomatoes in water instead of puree and a can of corn.
Judah Kelber is a father, husband, Marine and in his free time, a systems administrator for the State of Oregon. He also really likes cooking. His cooking blog can be found at HeyJude.typepad.com.
He's currently in the midst of a pressure cooker addiction, but don't let that scare you away.