Time again to use one of the butternut squash from my garden (somehow the crate of squash does not seem to be getting smaller). I peeled it and cut it up to use in a healthy chili.
I love chili, all types of chili. Red chilis, white chilis, black bean chilis, leftover turkey chili, Cincinnati chili. Chili by itself, over rice, over spaghetti, with bread or crackers. Chili makes me happy.
This chili is especially nice since it is so healthy as well as good tasting. The least healthy part, but necessary from my point of view..some cheese on top.
While the chili cooked, I took the dog for a walk. The sun was just setting and the sky was a beautiful lavender shade, with a sliver of a crescent moon.
Butternut Squash Chili with Corn
from Martha Rose Shulman
1 pound mixed dried beans, ( I used pintos and black beans), washed, picked over, and soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight in 2 quart pot.
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons grapeseed or sunflower oil
3 tablespoons mild ground chili (or use hot, or use more)
1 tablespoon cumin seeds, ground
1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
2 tablespoons tomato pastedissolved in 1 cup water
2 cups diced winter squash (about 3/4 pound) (Butternut squash from the garden)
1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
Salt to taste
½ cup chopped cilantro
Grated or crumbled cheese for serving (optional)
Meanwhile, heat oil over medium heat in a heavy skillet and add chopped onion. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes.
Add a generous pinch of salt, stir in chopped garlic, stir together for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant, and add ground chili and cumin. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until mixture begins to stick to pan.
Add chopped tomatoes with juice, pinch of sugar, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until tomatoes have cooked down and mixture is beginning to stick to the pan, about 10 minutes.
Stir in tomato paste dissolved in water and bring back to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until mixture is thick and fragrant.
Stir tomato mixture into beans. Add winter squash and bring to a simmer.
Taste and adjust salt. Simmer, stirring often so that the chili mixture doesn’t settle and stick to the bottom of the pot, for 45 minutes. Add more water if chili seems too thick. Stir in corn and simmer for another 10 minutes. The beans should be very soft and the chili thick and fragrant. Taste and adjust seasonings.
Shortly before serving stir in cilantro. Simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls.
If you wish, top with grated cheddar, Monterey jack, or crumbled queso fresco. Serve with biscuits or cornbread. Enjoy!