This is an another amazing vegetarian chili variation. Hearty too. It was especially wonderful for me as well because it incorporated a lot of flavors typically used in a traditional Mexican mole, one of my absolute loves.
This recipe was adapted from The Moosewood Restaurant Table: 250 Brand-New Recipes from the Natural Foods Restaurant that Revolutionized Eating in America from the Moosewood Collective. I doubled the recipe, increased the garlic, and omitted the ground fennel. We ate it with corn muffins and a green salad. Fabulous!
Yield: Serves 8 to 12
- 4 T olive oil
- 3 cups chopped yellow onions (I used 2 large onions)
- 10-12 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp ground fennel seeds, optional
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 T chopped fresh thyme of 2 tsp dried thyme
- 3 tsp coarse salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup seeded and chopped poblano peppers (can substitute cubanelle peppers)
- 3 cups seeded and chopped red, yellow, or orange bell peppers (I used 2 red, 1 yellow, & 1 orange)
- 6 cups diced butternut squash (bite-size cubes), from 1 medium butternut squash
- 28-oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 2/3 cups water
- 6 T pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
- 2 T sesame seeds
- 2 15-oz cans red kidney beans, drained
- 1-2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped, or to taste
- 3 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 72% cacao dark chocolate)
- 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
- sour cream, for garnish
- thinly sliced scallions, for garnish
- In a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat, warm the oil. (I used an enameled cast iron pot.)
- Add the onions, garlic, fennel, cinnamon, thyme, salt, and black pepper and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the onions soften, stirring often to prevent sticking.
- Add the celery, poblano peppers, and bell peppers and cook for another 5 minutes until the peppers brighten and become fragrant.
- Stir in the squash and cook for a minute or two more.
- Add the tomatoes and water to the pot, cover, bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
- Using a spice grinder, mini food processor, or a mortar and pestle, finely grind the pepitas and sesame seeds.
- When the squash is tender, stir the ground seeds, kidney beans, chipotles to taste, and chocolate into the stew. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Stir in the cilantro.
- Garnish with more cilantro, sliced scallions, and/or sour cream, as desired.
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