Vegetarian Squash Chili

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  • 3 pounds calabaza, sugar pumpkin, butternut, buttercup or other orange winter squash
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (or olive oil)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely ground cornmeal
  • 2 bell peppers, poblano or other sweet pepper chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 10oz cans diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 2 16oz cans chili beans, drained
  • 2 cups corn cut off the cob
  • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (Ginger omitted this and didn’t miss it)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Several dashes of vegetarian Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar to taste
  • Cilantro to serve (optional)
  • Chopped green onions to serve
  • Sour cream to serve
  • Shredded cheddar cheese to serve
  1. Peel the pumpkin or squash and cut into 1-inch pieces. To make it easier to peel the pumpkin, cut in half, remove the seeds (and set aside for roasting!), then microwave each half cut-side down in a shallow dish of water for 5 minutes, or roast the halves at 450°F for about 15 minutes. When the pumpkin is cool enough to handle, shave off the skin with a sharp knife.
  2. 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, bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.
  3. 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 is tender. (It gets even better if simmered longer – a whole afternoon, if you have the time.)
  4. Before serving, taste and season with salt and pepper and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Serve hot with chopped green onions, cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream.