Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

This vegetarian chili has become a perennial fall favorite in my home. It's a great make-ahead dish for parties, and leftovers freeze well for ready-to-go meals later. It's a fun way to get your children to look at pumpkins a new light. If you're feeling ambitious, present it in a hollowed out pumpkin—perhaps with a jack o'lantern face drawn on it with marker. Hearty and filling, this will help fuel your family through a night of Halloween haunting.
Halloween09 mosaic
My favorite chili, with other party classics — spooky pumpkin patch cake
and mozzarella-and-olive eyeballs.

Pumpkin Chipotle Chili

To roast a pumpkin, simply cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out the seeds, and pierce the shell a few times with a fork; set halves on a baking sheet, cut side down, and roast at 350 degrees for 45 to 90 minutes. The pumpkin's ready when you can easily pierce to the center with a fork. To keep this child-friendly, go easy on the chile—but offer chipotle chile powder for those who want to turn up the heat.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 onions, chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
cooked flesh from 1 small Sugar Pie pumpkin, chopped (see note)
1 1/2 tablespoons chipotle chile in adobo sauce (more or less according to taste; see note)
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups cooked black beans
2 cups cooked white beans (cannelini, navy, etc.)
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
toasted pumpkin seeds, for garnish (optional)

Heat oil in a Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until softened. Add pumpkin and chile and sauté 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, vegetable broth, beans, sage, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Serve topped with toasted pumpkin seeds, if desired.

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