Because I am from Upstate New York (and not Texas) I have no particular feelings about the way a chili should be made. Sure I’ve seen the articles and the chili cookoff shows where old men in flannel shirts and cowboy hats are very serious about the spicy mixtures of meat and tomatoes they make under huge white tents, but that’s not me. Luckily, since I have never been to a chili cookoff and am not plagued by any such allegiances to ‘authentic’ chili ingredients, I take a lot of liberties when I am making this perfect cold weather dish. This time around I added CSA butternut squash to my standard chili recipe and it brought a mellow sweetness to this smoky spicy chili that I really enjoyed.
2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 large onions, diced
4 stalks celery, diced
3 large carrots, diced
2 large green bell peppers, diced
2 cups butternut squash, diced
6-7 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
1 1/2 tbs chili powder
1 1/2 tbs cumin
1 1/2 tbs smoked paprika
1/2 tbs dried chipotle pepper
1 12oz can of black beans
1 12oz can kidney beans
1 12oz can of canelli or great northern beans
1 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
1 cup vegetable stock or water
salt and pepper to taste
1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
smoked cheddar cheese, grated (optional)
lime wedges (optional)
Add vegetable stock and can of tomatoes. Stir to incorporate. Let cook in low heat for 20-30 minutes uncovered and stir occasionally. The chili will cook down considerably and will thicken. Once the chili is the desired consistency stir in cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve piping hot and garnished with grated smoked cheddar cheese and a lime.
HOLIDAY GIFT ALERT! I love this beautiful pottery that is hand thrown by an artist that lives in my mom’s neighborhood named Steve Schafer. You can see more of Steve’s amazing art, both painting and pottery, at his website.