Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

I wish I could tell you that you could throw together a big pot of this chili into the crockpot, and you would be set all weekend, eating variants of this chili to get you through several meals.

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  • A bowl of chili with grated Pepper Jack Cheese sprinkled on top and cornbread on the side
  • A plate of chili on top a plate of spaghetti
  • A tortilla wrapped chili, complete with sour cream and grated cheese

You would be set all weekend! No matter how many basketball games there were, with people coming in and out at all different times of the day, you would have food ready in an instant. The possibilities would be endless.

Except for one problem. The chili won’t make it. Once you serve it in bowls, you’ll barely have enough left to make it to the second round with pasta.

This chili is just that good. Full of rich, complex flavors, that are so warm, and melt that cheese perfectly. Full of vitamins, and you can make this a vegetarian, or you can add beef or sausage. I used some of the pumpkin stored in the freezer from last fall….

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but canned pumpkin would work, and so would some baked butternut squash. But the addition of the pumpkin truly adds a great flavor boost to this chili. Instead of broth, I’ve been using water, along with these organic vegetable bouillon cubes.pumpkin chilli002(I’m always running out of broth, and these organic bouillon cubes give me instant broth!)

Here’s the recipe:

  • Three tablespoons of dried oregano
  • Three tablespoons of dried parsley
  • Two teaspoons of dried cumin
  • Two teaspoons of paprika
  • Two teaspoons of black pepper
  • Two teaspoons of Chili Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 can tomato paste (the little one)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Two talespoons of vegetable oil
  • Two cans of black beans, rinsed, or an entire bag of soaked black beans
  • One can of pumpkin, or two cups of frozen pureed pumpkin, or butternut squash.
  • Two 14 ounce cans of chopped tomatoes
  • Four cups of broth, or water with 2 bouillon cubes.
  • 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar, or to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Cooked ground beef or sausage, optional

The method:

  1. If using meat, saute this in a frying pan until most of the pink is gone.
  2. Saute the onion and dried spices together in the vegetable oil.
  3. When the onions are almost translucent, add the garlic, along with the tomato paste.
  4. Cook at medium high heat, until the paste is almost starting to turn brown. This builds a good flavor base for your soup.
  5. Throw everything together in the slow cooker, and turn it on low for 6 hours, or high for 4 hours.
  6. Add salt to taste, and the vinegar.
  7. Keep coming up with creative ways to make this, until all gone.

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