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Author Notes: Don't worry, I have a no-fail garnish that will make the meat lovers come around to this otherwise vegetarian chili. A sprinkling of crispy chorizo on top of this flavorful chili is all you need to please everyone. (Tortilla chips, avocado, fresh cilantro and a nice sharp cheddar help too though.)
You can add other vegetables to this, if you'd like. I've used spinach, cauliflower, and zucchini to other versions.
A note on the squash: Butternut squash is particularly good for holding its shape, but you can use whatever kind you'd like.
If I have leftover roasted squash on-hand, I'll use that instead. Cut it into 1-inch chunks and add to the pot in the last 10 minutes of cooking instead of at the beginning. —leah.vandeveldt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion
- 4 large (or 5 small) cloves of garlic
- 1 medium-sized red bell pepper
- 1 medium-sized green bell pepper
- 2 cups squash cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 large carrot, diced into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons mild chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon smokey paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely diced
- 3 cups cooked black beans
- 1 cup corn kernels (canned or frozen and thawed work)
- 1 1/2 cups of diced tomatoes (or 1 can)
- 1 cup water
- Salt, to taste
- 1-2 chorizo sausages, diced into small cubes (optional)
- In a large pot with a lid, heat olive oil over a medium high heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook for about 3-4 minutes until tender.
- Add garlic and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the red and green peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes, until beginning to soften, stirring often.
- Add squash and carrot and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Sprinkle in spices, along with the chipotle pepper and stir to coat the other ingredients. Cook for 1 minute.
- Pour black beans, corn, tomatoes, and water in the pot and stir to combine everything well. Season with salt, to taste.
- Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cover.
- Cook covered for 30-40 minutes, stirring gently every five minutes or so. Squash should be tender at the end of this time and everything should be ready to eat.
- BUT this chili does benefit from sitting covered and warm for an hour or so and then re-heating when ready to eat.
- For the meat-lovers garnish: place diced chorizo in a dry pan heated over a medium-high heat. Cook until the oils are released and the chorizo is a deep golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Scatter the chorizo over individual bowlfuls of chili along with any other garnishes desired.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Chili