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
large yellow onion
large (or 5 small) cloves of garlic
medium-sized red bell pepper
medium-sized green bell pepper
squash cut into 1-inch cubes
large carrot, diced into small pieces
mild chili powder
chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, finely diced
cooked black beans
corn kernels (canned or frozen and thawed work)
1 1/2 cups
of diced tomatoes (or 1 can)
Salt, to taste
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.