Fall Harvest Chili

You: loves chili, has a surplus of butternut squash from this year’s garden

This recipe: loves being eaten, smelled, is chili, contains butternut squash

Is it love?

Fall Harvest Chili

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 tomatoes, blanched, peeled, gutted, and diced finely
  • 1 – 2 green chilis (any variety–YOU pick the heat…it’s like a Choose Your Own Adventure for your mouth!), seeded and diced (optional)
  • 2 small – medium carrots, peeled and cut into half disks (go to page 12) or diced (go to page 38)
  • 1 stalk celery, diced
  • 1 zucchini or summer squash, cubed (optional)
  • 1 can (cups cooked, I think) Great Northern white beans
  • 1 can canellini (white kidney) beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds, lightly toasted then ground
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp dried or 1 heaping tbsp fresh oregano
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • water
  • oil

Cut the butternut squash in half and cook facedown in oil on a cookie sheet or bread pans at 400 degrees for 35 – 45 minutes. Cook it for slightly less time than you normal would, as you don’t want it all mushy, just some parts. There should be some pieces that a person with teeth could chew. Once you’ve put this menace in the oven, sautee the onion in oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add in the celery, then the carrots, then the chilis (if used). Add in the zucchini/summer squash now (if using).

In another pot, take care of all the tomato blanching nonsense (unless your were awesome enough to can, in which case you’re already done). Once the onions are starting to brown, add in all of the spices and mix well. Add in the tomatoes when they’re ready. Add in the beans after that. [If you’re using canned beans, include the water from the two white beans; if you’ve cooked the beans yourself, use about 1/2 cup water from each white bean if you still have it.] Stir well, add some salt and let simmer.

When the squash is done, prepare yourself psychologically for the hassle of wrestling this beast out of its skin. Better, if someone is around who expects to eat this and isn’t helping, make them do it. They will invariably do a poor job. But screw it. Seriously. You can now blame every problem the chili has on this hapless helper.

So, once the squash is out of its skin, add in all of the mushy parts. Cut the remaining squash into chunks, the size of which you find enjoyable to chew, particularly in conjunction with other items on your spoon. This will vary by both mouth and spoon size. If you are feeding other people, remember that you can control for spoon size, but not for mouth size. Optionally, you may select a more optimal group of friends based on oral aperture.

Let the chili simmer for a spell before eating.

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