No other dish warms the heart and body like chili. But ask 100 people what makes a good chili and you’ll get 100 different answers: Beans, no beans, noodles, no noodles – you get the idea. In my opinion, the versatility of chili is what makes it loved by so many.
At our house, B and I like to play around with a regular, ground beef chili. Extras we like include mushrooms, pinto beans, celery and sliced olives. We also add a few secret ingredients (beer and coffee…shhh!). Adding these may sound weird and/or gross, but it adds more depth of flavor that complements the spices.
Although I love our chili, I was itching to try something new. Online, I came across a few recipes for pumpkin chili, and since trying Alison Sherwood’s curried pumpkin soup from her blog, Post-College Kitchen, I found a new curiosity for all things pumpkin.
Ever the skeptic but always willing to try something new, I found a pumpkin and black bean chili that I would wage my cooking reputation on – it’s that good. The fact that it’s a slow-cooker recipe and chock full of nutrients is just the sour cream on top of a perfectly crafted chili.
Pumpkin and Black Bean Chili
adapted from Taste of Home
1 medium onion, diced
1 yellow or orange pepper, diced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups water + 2 chicken bouillon cubes
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 -16 oz. package Morning Star soy crumbles
1 -15 oz. can pumpkin puree
1 -14 1/2 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tsp. parsley
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. herbs de provence
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1. Sauté the onion, pepper and garlic in olive oil and cook until tender. Add to a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the remaining ingredients, cover and cook on low for 5 hours.
2. When serving, top with sour cream and a biscuit.
This chili is easy, healthy and delicious. The pumpkin flavor takes a backseat to the chili powder and herbs de provence. Also, don’t worry about this dish tasting like pumpkin pie. I’ve learned that pumpkin by itself is pretty bland and tends to bring out the other flavors you add to the dish, which is why a pumpkin pie tastes like ginger, cinnamon and cloves.