Christmas is always the time of the year that I will try elaborate new recipes. I start weeks ahead of time, and collect ideas and recipes and a few weeks before the big day I know roughly what I am making.
About eight years ago, I made a corn casserole and fell in love with it. It included this chilli, and I’ve made it many many times since then. I now realize: this dish was gluten-free. So I’ve not had to change a thing about it since my diagnosis with celiac disease. This chili is now a standard dish in my repertoire, and one of my favorite ways to eat kidney beans. I love the combination of mushrooms in combination with the beautiful mix that are the kidney bean broth with the canned tomatoes and the subtle play of sage and of course the pumpkin pieces. It’s a healthy dish bursting with flavor and spice and great for a crowd, if you are trying to feed it cheap and want them to leave your table full. Plus, preparing this chili ahead of time is a great idea, the ingredients will absorb the flavors of the broth, creating deeper and more intense taste. This chili is also vegan, except for the butter that I prefer frying the mushrooms in for taste. I’ve done this dish without butter plenty of times and it was just as good.
1 tbsp fresh sage
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 small garlic cloves
1 tbsp ground cumin
400g butternut squash (cut into bite-size pieces)
350g canned tomatoes (preferably pieces)
400g kidney beans plus its broth (these should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES come out of a can, but you should make these yourself. It makes a world of difference in texture and flavor. For instructions, visit this post)
salt, pepper, red hot pepper powder
Melt the butter in a large pot and add the chopped onion and the sage. After two minutes, add the mushrooms and cook until they have softened and shrunk and their liquid has evaporated, about ten minutes. Add the thyme, the garlic gloves and the pumpkin and stir well. Add a bit of water (as to prevent the ingredients sticking to the bottom of the pot), and continue cooking for another minute. Add the kidney beans and the canned tomatoes, add the remaining spices to taste and cook for another five minutes until the pumpkin pieces are done.