Inspired by a pumpkin chili I ate at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival, this is a variation on my Smoky Three-Bean Chili (also posted on Food52). The pumpkin helps thicken the chili, and adds sweetness and earthiness to balance the smoky-spicy chipotle. The chili is ready after an hour of simmering, but if you have the time, let it go for closer to three hours–the long simmer really takes the flavor from good to glorious. —ieatthepeach
peanut, canola, or vegetable oil
medium yellow onion, diced
Salt to taste
garlic cloves, minced
sweet smoked paprika
1 3/4 cups
homemade pumpkin puree OR one (15 oz) can pumpkin puree
minced chipotles in adobo, to taste
(28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (fire-roasted are nice)
(15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes, or until the onion is translucent. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, and paprika, and cook, stirring frequently, for another 30 seconds to a minute, or until the mixture is fragrant. Add pumpkin puree, chipotle, and tomato paste, and stir to combine.
Add crushed tomatoes, beans, water, and a couple pinches of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to keep the liquid at a bare simmer. Simmer, uncovered, for 1 to 3 hours, until the chili has thickened and tastes the way you want it. If simmering longer than 1 hour, keep an eye on the pot and add the occasional splash of water if it’s getting too thick.
Remove the chili from the heat; remove and discard the cinnamon stick. Season with salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with avocado and scallions. Serve hot.
Like most chilis, this will only get better with time. It will keep, tightly covered, in the fridge for up to 3 days, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.