Butternut Squash Chipotle Chili with Avocado

Hearty, spicy and sweet vegetarian chili made with butternut squash and black beans. Top with creamy avocado for an easy meal that satisfies vegans, carnivores, and gluten-free eaters alike. This recipe serves 3 to 4. This chili is very hearty, but feel free to add another can of tomatoes or more vegetable broth if you want to thin it out a bit. Double the recipe for a crowd.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 small butternut squash (1½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • ½+ tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper in adobo* (start with ½ tablespoon and add more to taste, I thought mine was just right with 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 small can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes, including the liquid**
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or one 14-ounce can)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 Avocados from Mexico, diced
  • 3 corn tortillas for crispy tortilla strips (or substitute crumbled tortilla chips)
  • Optional additional garnishes: Chopped fresh cilantro and/or red pepper flakes

Instructions

  • Place the olive oil in a Dutch oven and let it there until it starts shimmering. Now, put in the bell pepper, butternut squash, onions, and cook until onion turns brown. The oven should be turned on at medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat low-medium add the chopped chipotle peppers, cinnamon, chili powder, garlic, and cumin. Keep cooking for 30 seconds while stirring regularly. Put in the black beans, broth, tomatoes along with their juices, and bay leaf. Mix it before covering and leave it for one hour. Don’t forget to stir after every 15 minutes. After 30 minutes, you can taste it and add extra chipotle peppers if required.
  • When the liquid has reduced and butternut squash is tender, you will know that your chili is done. It will produce the hearty chili consistency we all love. Now, add salt to taste.
  • For preparing the crispy tortilla strips: Slice the corn tortillas into thin strips that should be 1/4 inch wide only. Sprinkle with salt to add taste. Add some olive oil in a pan and place it over the medium heat. Once it starts shimmering, add in the tortilla. Now, keep cooking until the tortilla slices turn to golden color, which normally takes 5 to 8 minutes. Now, drain the prepared slices by covering them with a paper towel.
  • Serve the chili in individual bowls, topped with crispy tortilla strips and plenty of diced avocado. I added a little sprinkle of red pepper flakes (optional). Cilantro would be nice as well. You might want to serve this along with some chipotle hot sauce (Tobasco makes one) for the spice addicts like myself.

Read full article here: http://cookieandkate.com/2012/butternut-squash-chipotle-chili-with-avocado/

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