Pumped Up Chili
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb fresh pumpkin or winter squash, bite-size pieces
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chili peppers, drained
3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
In a soup pot, heat olive oil over med-high. Add pumpkin, sweet potatoes, onion, celery, bell peppers and garlic, sauté about 15 minutes, until pumpkin is al dente.
Add 1 cup water, green chilies and tomatoes, stir in spices and bay leaves. Simmer covered until pumpkin is tender. Add beans, continue on simmer, uncovered for another 30 minutes.
I made this chili for a contest at work. It won it's Class: Vegetarian Chili and It Won Best Overall out of a field of 36 entries. There were lots of comments, a small sample:
"Excellent balance of spices."
"The sweet potato pieces and pumpkin chunks add the right amount of sweet."
"Do you have a copy of the recipe?"
My take is that it is very good, quite tasty and not too hot. I didn't miss the meat, much.
Sorry for the plain presentation, but I almost forgot to get a picture. Good thing I remembered, because all I brought home was an empty pot and dirty ladle.