Butternut squash chickpea chili

I’ve had an amazing few days of hosting some Americans, and I have a good friend here who is staying for the whole next week, so this means heaps of time at all my favourite restaurants and bars and trying as many new ones as possible.  Needless to say, after some very heavy socialising, sometimes I am desperately in need of a healthy lunch packed with veggies.  This dish fits the bill perfectly and combines two of my favourite ingredients: butternut squash and chickpeas.  I also like the addition of some chili powder to give it a little heat, and the cumin, tumeric, and cinnamon lend it a slightly exotic air.

This dish is packed full of veggies and I took the original recipe and added even more.  I encourage you to substitute for your favourite ones and put together a fun colourful dish.  As with many of my vegetarian recipes, the only “time sink” (consulting term, sorry) is in the preparation of the vegetables, since all of them need to be chopped into small pieces.  If you’ve got this down to a science it can take perhaps 20-30 minutes – maybe longer if you’re entertaining yourself by watching TV shows at the same time.  (but then the time will fly by regardless)  The outcome is well worth it, as it makes a substantial batch (enough for 4-5 servings) and is great for either dinner or lunch.

I love my baked goods and wine and cocktails…but I need this in my life too!

Butternut squash chickpea chili (adapted from The Roasted Root)

Ingredients

  • Olive oil or cooking spray
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 cups chopped peeled butternut squash (1 small one or half of a medium/large one shoudl be fine)
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and chopped (this wasn’t in the original recipe but I just enjoy adding carrots to pretty much anything)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth is fine)
  • Other vegetables, cut up into small pieces, if you so desire (I threw some cut up green beans and red and yellow capsicum in there for some extra crunch and colour)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained

In a large stock pot or dutch oven, add the oil, onion, carrot (if using), celery, and butternut squash and heat to medium. Sauté, stirring frequently, until veggies are softened and fragrant, about 12 to 15 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, and spices and sauté another 2 minutes. Add the broth and diced tomatoes and bring chili to a full boil.  Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, until vegetables are cooked all the way through.  About 20 minutes into the time, I added the green beans, and I added the capsicum about 5 minutes before I added the chickpeas.  When everything is basically tender, add the chickpeas and cook an additional 2 minutes.  It’s good to just cook it to taste and take it off the heat when you have determined it’s done.

IMG_6012Chopped up butternut squash, and celery

IMG_6013Adding carrots and onion

IMG_6014After adding all the tomatoes and letting it simmer for 5 minutes, I added in my cut up green beans.  I thought they added quite a nice additional texture to the dish

IMG_6015I also added red and yellow pepper/capsicum before the adding of the chickpeas step.  I just had heaps of vegetables and wanted to use them all up.

IMG_6016Finished product complete with chickpeas packaged into nice little freezable containers

This is a really fantastic freezable dish.  It’s so awesome to come back from a week away and have healthy food waiting for you in your freezer, so I highly advocate adding this one to your list of great freezable recipes.  You definitely don’t need all the extra add-ins, but I really liked having the extra colour and flavours of all the different veggies.  This is just one of those dishes where you feel virtuous eating it and it’s delicious.  This one will become a regular for me!

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