Sunday, September 23, 2012

Vegan Black Bean and Pumpkin Chili

When pumpkins go on sale, I go a little crazy. You see, I can't buy just one. My head filled with the dreams of muffins, cakes, pies, enchiladas, soups, stews, curries...I just can't help but load the cart full of at least 4 or 5 sugar pumpkins. Some of it will end up in recipes right away, and some of it will end up in the freezer, but the first step is to roast the pumpkin.

First cut the stem off. This will allow you to slice the pumpkin in half much easier and without so much risk to life and limb. Pull the top off and set aside.

Then, using a large, sharp knife, cut down one side until you reach the bottom. It will probably not want to cut through the base, don't worry about that. Cut along the other side until you meet resistance.
Then, using your hands, pull the two sides apart. They should break right through that tricky bottom that wouldn't cut.
Scoop the seeds out and set aside for roasting later. (I am actually mildly allergic to pumpkin, when I touch the inside it makes my skin itchy and red, so Jordan is here to the rescue!)

 Place on an oiled cookie sheet, face down, and cook for 40-60 minutes, or until soft. Let cool.

  Scoop the flesh out of the pumpkin, discarding the skin. From here you can puree it to be used in your recipe of choice.

For the soup, you will need:

2 cups of cooked black beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
about 1/2 Tbsp of cumin
1 Tbsp of chili powder (or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste
about 3 cups of broth
half of one roasted sugar pie pumpkin

In a large stockpot, heat a few tablespoons of oil. Over medium/high heat saute the onion and garlic until soft. Add in the spices and cook, stirring, another minute or so, until fragrant.  Stir in the chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine your cooked pumpkin flesh and the broth. Puree until smooth. Stir into the chili and simmer for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the spices as necessary. Serve hot.

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