Vegetarian Chili with Beer and Butternut Squash
Even non-vegetarians will love this chili! Our son, a definite carnivore, said it was his favorite of the three. The chili is better the next day once flavors meld, perfect for a party since it can be made ahead. Reheat gently before serving. party food. This recipe will feed 8 hungry hikers.
The recipe is adapted from the vegetarian-cooking app by Lukas Volger. I used Magic Mineral Broth for the vegetarian stock; you’ll need about 4 cups. If you are gluten free, consider using dry cider in place of the beer.
Start by soaking the beans the day before you intend to make the chili.
- 1 pound of dried beans of medium size
- 4 guajillo or ancho chiles, dried
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 8 cloves of garlic
- 2 small fresh chilies such as Serrano, stemmed and seeded
- ¼ cup of vegetable oil such as canola or sunflower
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 – 2 teaspoons of kosher salt
- 2 cups of dark brown ale
- 1 28-oz can of chopped or crushed tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 4 cups of vegetable stock, such as Magic Mineral Broth
- 4 cups of cubed winter squash, (1/2 inch cubes)
- Soak the beans the night before you intend to make the chili. Start by rinsing the beans and picking them over to remove any stones. Cover them with plenty of cool water and leave overnight.
- Briefly toast the cumin and fennel seeds in a dry skillet until golden brown. Crush in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.
- Cover the dried chilies with hot water and soak for about 10 minutes, until softened. Drain, reserving the soaking water. Stem and seed the chilies, chop them coarsely.
- Combine the onions and carrots in a feed processor and chop finely.
- Heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the carrot-onion mixture, cook on medium until soft, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add the soaked chilies, garlic, and fresh chilies to the bowl of the food processor. With the motor running, pour in a few tablespoons of the chili soaking water. You want to puree the contents into a smooth paste. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the chili paste to the onions and carrots in the pot. Add the crushed cumin and fennel seeds, paprika, cocoa powder, and salt. Cook about 5 minutes until thick.
- Add the beer and scrape up any browned bits.
- Add the drained beans and stir
- Add the can of tomatoes and the stock.
- Bring to a boil, partially cover the pot, and cook for 60 minutes or until the beans are almost tender.
- Add the cubed squash and cook for another 30 minutes until the beans and squash are cooked. Taste a few beans to make sure they are done.
- Add additional stock or water as needed if the chili seems too thick. If you reheat the chili you will probably need to add more stock or water.
Serve with rice. Garnish with sour cream, chopped onion, shredded cheese, and cilantro.