Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Fall has finally arrived in the desert. The mornings are crisp and cool and the sunrise seems extra special. My husband and I start our morning walks out in the dark and by the time we get back the streets are busy with traffic and children going to school. There is a large cactus that we walk by as we enter the mountain preserve that seems to be home to various desert animals. This cute little guy is a Peach faced love bird (above). A loud and shrill chirper, these birds are social animals and often congregate in small groups.
I not sure if it’s just me but cooler weather always puts me in the mood for dishes like this pumpkin chili. It is a hearty meal made with 3 types of beans, warming spices, diced pumpkin and two of my favorite secret ingredients; chocolate and cinnamon. The chocolate adds a richness and the cinnamon adds a earthy base to the broth. I baked up a boxed cornbread mix from Trader Joes that I really like and topped each bowl of chili with grated sharp cheddar and crumbs from the corn bread. The crumbs added a nice texture and made this dish even more substantial. The spice is mild in flavor but you could always add heat by adding more chili powder or even some cayenne pepper.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion (diced)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1 green bell pepper (diced)
1 small jalapeno (minced)
1 tablespoon dried Oregano
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 15-ounce can black beans
1 15-ounce can white beans
1 15-ounce can pinto beans
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cups diced pumpkin
4 to 5 cups water or vegetable stock
1 tablespoons grated semi-sweet chocolate
In a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and then add the onion, saute 5 minutes. Add garlic, red and green bell peppers and jalapeno; saute another 8 to 10 minutes. Now add the Oregano, bay leaves, chili powder, cumin, paprika, unsweetened cocoa powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Stir and cook 1 to 2 minutes to toast the spices.
Add beans, tomatoes, pumpkin and water or vegetable broth. Simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Then add grated chocolate. Stir until melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper if needed.
Ladle into bowls and top with crumbled corn bread toppings and cheddar cheese. Enjoy!
There are so many different types of topping you can add to this chili, avocados, chives, sour cream, corn chips or cilantro. Take your pick!
Cheri Savory Spoon
Mysavoryspoon was first started in 2010 as a way to journal recipes that I had collected from cookbooks, magazines, family and friends. Most everything was savory, using legumes and whole grains. Along the way I discovered a love for baking. Now a couple times a month you might see some type of sweet pie or treat.
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