I love Autumn because it brings such an abundance of delicious warming ingredients. Pumpkin and squash being one of my absolute favourites and go-to’s when craving something hearty and cosy. Squashes have such a brilliant ability to take on so many different flavours and textures and this pumpkin and bean chilli is so simple to make – it can even be made a few days ahead of time, the flavours will actually improve and develop as the days go by.
What I love about this recipe is that you can adapt it to your likes and available ingredients. Each time I make this recipe it alters slightly depending on what needs using up. But every time – it is loved by everyone. You can also easily alter this to make it vegan-friendly.
This recipe can be made on the hob or in a slow cooker – making it super versatile and time and skill friendly. Just pop it on the go and leave it to do its thing. It’s thing being, infusing all those wonderful spices into the soft flesh of that pumpkin and creating a thing of delight. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, vegan yoghurt with chives or a chunk of home-made bread. I opt for this dense apple, rosemary and goat’s cheese loaf which soaks up all those incredible flavours and adding another level to the dish.
VEGAN PUMPKIN AND BEAN CHILLI
Makes: 4 portions. Time to make: 1.5hours.
1/2 pumpkin or 2 medium squashes, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 sticks of celery, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
A tin of chopped tomatoes
2tbsp tomato puree
1 tin of black beans, drained and washed
750ml of vegetable stock
2 tbsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp nutmeg
Fresh rosemary sprigs
Salt and pepper
Place 1/3 of your diced pumpkin or squash on a baking tray with a good drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper and 1tbsp of cinnamon and place on 350f/gas mark 4 for 30 minutes. (optional – this just adds a nice texture of crunch to sprinkle on top)
In a large heavy-based bottom pan or deep skillet, add your garlic, onion and celery and cook over a medium to low heat for 3-4 minutes until the onions are translucent and soft.
Add the diced pumpkin/squash and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring occasionally.
Then place in your diced peppers and tomato puree, and stir for 2-3 minutes.
Sprinkle in your rosemary sprigs, chilli powder, cinnamon and nutmeg with a good pinch of salt and pepper and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add in your tinned tomatoes, black beans, and vegetable stock and simmer for 30-45minutes or until your pumpkin is soft and tender. Stir every 10-15 minutes and add more water if needed.
Top with the roasted pieces of pumpkin and sour cream, vegan yoghurt or a chunk of warm bread.
*If you are cooking in a slow-cooker, pop all ingredients into your slow cooker and cook for 3-4 hours on low, just give it a stir every now again.