Fall has quickly and unmercifully descended upon us here in Milwaukee, and with its arrival the produce section of our local grocery store has been invaded by hordes of butternut squash. You won’t catch me complaining about that (the squash, not the weather). In fact, I was starting to get butternut squash soup on the brain when Emma came home with a recipe for “Gold Rush Chili,” whose main component is the aforementioned squash. So, we headed to the store and picked up the ingredients to make the chili that night. The recipe is super simple and – holy cannoli – is it ever good! It didn’t look like much once I set it to simmer, but I was pleasantly surprised by the final product. It’s sweeter than any chili I’m used to, and could probably even be considered more of a chili-flavored stew.
I know that most of you that are kind enough to subscribe to our blog live in warmer climates, but when the thermometer dips below 60 down in Florida and everyone is wearing their parkas and snow boots, give this recipe a try! And let us know what you think!
Gold Rush Chili (from Outpost Natural Foods)
2 Tblsp olive oil
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 Tblsp mild chili powder
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder or cayenne pepper to taste (for spice)
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water
1 15-oz. can kidney beans
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream (for garnish)
green onion, chopped (for garnish)
Peel and chop squash and set aside. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sautee onion and bell pepper until soft – about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sautee 2 minutes more.
Add seasonings and stir well to coat. Add tomatoes (and their juice), water, squash, salt and pepper to taste, Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes.
Add beans and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Cover and cook until squash is tender, but not disintegrating – about 30-40 minutes.
Serve garnished with sour cream and green onions, if desired.
TIPS: The next time we make this we plan on doubling the recipe. That should produce the amount of leftovers that we want from a dish like this. This is one of those that tastes even better the second day! You might also consider cutting up a carrot and throwing it in there with the onions, for texture just as much as flavor.