After one last gasp from summer in the form of a 3 day heat wave in the 90’s.. we’re finally into fall with gloom, rain, and falling leaves. I don’t know about anyone else, but it makes me want to snuggle up with Punk (my 17lb cat), marathon the last season of Game of Thrones (again), and make a big pot of spicy chili. With my garden still producing a ridiculous amount of peppers each day, I’ve got the spicy part covered! I also have an abundance of butternut squash which I’ve been waiting for patiently all summer to use in this autumn-inspired chili recipe.
A hearty mix of fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, and butternut squash are simmered with spices, a pinch of cinnamon, and some pumpkin beer to really bring out the fall flavors. A perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and savory that makes enough to feed an army of White Walkers.. if they ate chili and not humans that is.
(makes 6-8 servings)
1 1/2 to 2lb butternut squash
2 Tbs olive oil
1 large white onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, stem and seeds removed, chopped
2 serrano peppers, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large tomatoes, chopped
2 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1/2 cup of your favorite fall beer (I used Blue Moon’s Harvest Pumpkin Wheat)
1/2 Tbs chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (15oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15oz) can of pinto beans, drained
Cornbread – Get the recipe for my Jalapeño Cheddar Skillet Cornbread
Use a potato peeler to peel the skin off the squash. Cut it in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy insides like you would a pumpkin. Please be VERY careful when you’re cutting the squash. You’ll need to use a sharp knife, they’re a little tough to cut through, and slippery! Chop into bite sized chunks and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large pot over low to medium heat. Once hot, add onion, bell pepper, and butternut squash. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until onions are translucent. Add serrano peppers and minced garlic and cook another 1-2 minutes.
Stir in tomatoes, vegetable stock, beer, and seasonings. Add more vegetable stock as needed until vegetables are submerged under the liquid.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, then stir in the beans. Cover with a lid and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until butternut squash is tender and easily pierced by a fork.
Dish it up into bowls, add toppings, and serve!