Great Pumpkin Chili

October 18, 2016

Great Pumpkin Chili

By Chef Linda

Herald autumn's arrival with a heady, spicy twist on a perennial cool-weather favorite. Try our Great Pumpkin Chili and say farewell (temporarily!) to the familiar tomato-base often associated with chili. Instead, we use rich pumpkin, succulent butternut squash, and creamy white beans to create a velvety, melt-in-your-mouth medley of seasonal deliciousness. Don't balk at the amount chili powder (the recipe calls for one quarter cup): Chili powder provides the smokey, gentle warmth we love when we think about chili, without adding a spicy heat. Canned green chilis provide a nice background heat, but if you want more fire, add the bit of cayenne pepper called for here. Warming cinnamon and a hint of ground cloves seal the deal on this harvest-inspired dish. Enjoy a steaming bowl adorned with a dollop of Lime Cashew Cream and you may actually believe, like Linus, that the Great Pumpkin really does exists.

(You'll need a blender to make the Lime Cashew Cream. If you don't have a high-speed blender or are using a food processor, soak the cashews for several hours or overnight to soften before blending.)

Great Pumpkin Chili    



About 25 to 30 minutes

4 to 6 servings

Great Pumpkin Chili





1 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped, about 1/2 cup
1 teaspoon salt
3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
Pinch of ground cloves
1 (14 to 15 ounce) can pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 to 4 cups)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 (15 ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 tablespoons real maple syrup
Juice from 2 limes
2 to 3 scallions, chopped, for garnish

Lime Cashew Cream
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup packed fresh parsley or cilantro leaves, plus extra, chopped for garnish
1 to 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
3/4 cup water, plus more to thin if necessary
Juice of 2 limes, about 2 tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt



Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are tender and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, green chilis, chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, cayenne pepper (if using), and cloves. Continue to cook for 3 to 5 minutes more, until spices become fragrant. Stir in pumpkin purée, butternut squash, and vegetable broth. Cover and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until squash is fork tender, but not too soft that it falls apart. Remove lid and add white beans, syrup, and lime juice. Cook until beans are heated through and flavors have mingled, or another 5 minutes.

While chili is cooking, make the Lime Cashew Cream. Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend on high speed for about 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add more water, by the tablespoon, if necessary to help with blending and to ensure a smooth, creamy result. To serve, ladle chili into bowls and top with Lime Cashew Cream and scallions.


FILED UNDER: glutenfree, peanutfree, soyfree, main, soups, winter, fall,

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