Sweet 'n Spicy Chili in a Bowl
New Year's Day is almost upon us. Rather than wax nostalgic and dreamy about the bumpy (and enlightening) year I've had, I'd rather post a simple recipe I know you'll love. Making a pot of bean soup or chili to welcome in a freshly minted year is a tradition as old as the hills. From Italian Pasta Fagioli to homestyle southern Hoppin' John, beans somehow acquired the favorable reputation of attracting good luck.
Why? I haven't a clue.
But I do know this. Beans paired with cubes of winter squash make for one sweet and tasty chili.
That, Dear Reader, you can take to the bank.
Butternut Squash Chili RecipeRecipe posted December 2007.
This savory chili has a fresh, vibrant taste with a Southwestern twist. The secret ingredient? Lime. Adding a splash of lime juice just before serving brightens the flavor and teases your taste buds.
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3-6 cloves garlic, to taste, minced
1 teaspoon each: cumin, chili powder and ginger
1 medium red or sweet onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, diced
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
3 cups gluten-free broth
1 28-oz. can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Whole Tomatoes, diced or broken up, with juice
1 cup chopped green chiles- mild or hot, as you prefer
2 14-oz. cans black beans, rinsed, drained
1 14-oz. can white Northern beans, or red kidney beans, rinsed, drained
1 tablespoon golden balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon organic raw agave nectar
1 large fresh lime- for juice and garnish
To assemble in a slow cooker:
Drizzle the olive oil in the bottom of the cooker; add the garlic and spices and stir to combine.
Add the remaining ingredients except the lime juice. Gently stir with a wooden spoon or vinyl spatula (you don't want to mash the beans) to mix. Cover and follow the manufacturer's instructions for slow cooking a chili with canned (not dried beans). I cooked mine on low for five to six hours, for example.
To make on the stove top:
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat (I would use a little more olive oil); add the spices, stir and heat through for a minute; add onions and stir for two to three minutes; add the remaining ingredients except the lime. Cover the pot and bring to a simmer; lower the heat and keep the chili at a slow simmer, covered; stir now and then, and check the consistency. Add a little more broth if needed, to thin. Cook for an hour or so until all the flavors have combined and the sauce is thickened and rich.
Before serving, squeeze in the juice from half a lime; stir. Taste test for seasoning adjustments - more lime? A pinch of salt? More heat? A touch more agave? You decide.
Serve piping hot, as is, or with a garnish on top.
Chopped fresh cilantro
Wedge of lime
Crumbled blue corn chips
Greek yogurt or vegan sour cream
Try this gorgeous chili with my green chile studded Skillet Cornbread or Big Banana Muffins.
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