'Tis the season for pumpkin and other winter squash; if you're not sure what to do with yours, give this veggie-heavy chili a try. Packed with good things, you can use any kind of winter squash you find - even if it's not recognizable. Butternut is easy to handle, but if you wind up with a gnarly one that's tough to tackle, hack it in half, scoop out the seeds and pop it in the microwave or oven to roast until it's soft, then scoop out the flesh into the chili. (It doesn't have to be perfect to be delicious!)
Very Veggie Chili with Butternut Squash
Frozen squash is convenient and works well in this recipe; it also freezes very well, and tastes better after a day or two in the fridge. A variation from Home Cooking, by the Best of Bridge.
Canola oil, for cooking
1 onion, chopped
2 small zucchini, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 12 oz (341 mL) can corn kernels (or 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen)
1 19 oz (540 mL) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 19 oz (540 mL) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained (or more black beans)
2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (or other winter squash)
2 cups tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
salt, to taste
Cilantro and sour cream, for garnish (optional)
In a small Dutch oven, heat a generous drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until soft. Add the zucchini and cook for another 5-6 minutes, until starting to soften and turn golden on the edges. Add the garlic and chili and cook for another minute.
Add the corn, black and kidney beans, squash, tomato sauce, salsa and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until thickened and the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.
Serve warm, with sour cream and cilantro if you like. Serves 8-10.