I found this recipe for pumpkin chili the other week when looking for what to do with the small pumpkins I had bought for Halloween that I had failed to carve. I’ve been able to master a lot of things one-handed now that baby Oscar is in my life…but carving a pumpkin was not going to be one of those things.
I liked the addition of turnips to this recipe. I’ve only really had them used in a mash so it was nice to try them in this. If you don’t have turnips you could substitute with a rutabaga/swede or even parsnips. If you don’t have pumpkins, a butternut squash would work as well. You could modify it for the slow cooker. I’ve made it in a crockpot to serve at my annual Halloween party. Cut back on the liquid a bit, i.e., rather than 4 cups vegetarian broth, use 2.
Check the consistency about half way through the cook time and add more liquid if needed. It won’t take as long as 8 hours since there’s no meat here so just use your judgement. You can also make this recipe vegan by simply substituting the butter for olive oil and obviously using dairy free toppings. This also freezes well.
- 3-pound pie pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash such as butternut, Red Kuri, or Golden Hubbard. Roasted, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces.
- 2 medium turnips, peeled, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
- 2 red bell peppers, chopped
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 4 cups vegetarian broth
- 2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, such as Rotel
- 2 16-ounce cans chili beans, drained
- 2 cups frozen corn
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- Several dashes vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Balsamic vinegar, to taste
- Chopped green onions, to serve
- Shredded cheddar cheese, to serve
- Sour cream, to serve
- In a large Dutch oven or soup pot (it should hold at least 6 quarts), heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. When melted, whisk in the cornmeal until smooth, then stir in the chopped pumpkin, turnip, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
- Add the broth, diced tomatoes, beans, and corn. Stir in the chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring back to a simmer then reduce the heat and cook for at least 1 hour, or until the pumpkin and turnip are tender. The longer the better.
- Before serving, taste and season with salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Serve hot with chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.