Not Everyone Approves of the Secret Ingredient in My Chili
|Months after harvest, butternut squash are still in good condition.
|Fresh from the garden on a warmer day.
You (or someone you know) may not approve of adding squash to chili. Although the vegetable has many fans, it has its share of detractors. But don't judge too quickly! You may be surprised to enjoy a soup in which butternut squash play a supporting (not the lead) role.
The easiest (and tastiest) way to prepare butternut is split it, scoop out seed
and roast in a 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until soft.
My best advice would be to simply add a cup or so (not too much!) of mashed roasted squash to your favorite chili recipe. I think you'll find that it adds body to the soup and an understated savory flavor with just a touch of sweetness that enhances the spicy seasoning.
In my kitchen making soup is never an exercise in precision. It doesn't need to be. But I am glad to share this basic recipe that you can adapt to your family's taste.
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound lean hamburger
1 teaspoon salt
1 can (or 2 cups) beef or chicken stock
2 cans crushed tomatoes
1-2 can (or 2 cups) pinto beans, drained
1 cup mashed roasted butternut squash
1 tablespoon chili seasoning
1/4 cup chopped roasted peppers (anaheim, poblano or bell), optional
|Roasted peppers add another layer of flavor.
Wondering how to roast peppers? Click here. .
Saute onions in oil for a few minutes and then add hamburger, sprinkle with salt and saute until browed. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 15-45 minutes.
Enjoy! You decide whether to share about the secret ingredient.
Extra butternut squash? Make this cake. It really is very good.