election night chili
It was 80 degrees here last week. This morning, it was 38. I did not bike to work.
Plaid flannel sheets are on the bed, and the radiator rattles like an old wheezing man. Last night, I made a big pot of chili, stuffed with beans, squash, and delicious vegetarian spicy sausage links from Field Roast that lend charred, spicy flavors and a meaty substance to the soup. Chili is definitely one of those hearty, complex soups that you can throw a lot of things into – I had half of a huge butternut squash sitting in the fridge that I needed to use up, and I could have thrown in some chopped mushrooms or carrots as well. Make it your own, and experiment with different ingredients. Paired with a six pack, some good friends, and a box of tissues, it will make for a sobering night of hunkering down to watch the Democrats get trampled in tonight’s election returns.
2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 pepper, chopped
1 serrano chile, finely diced
2-3 links Field Roast “Mexican Chipotle” vegetarian sausage (available at Whole Foods)
1 T chile powder
2 t cumin powder
2 t oregano powder
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 cup homemade vegetable stock or water
1 cup frozen corn
2 cans red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 small butternut squash, cut into ¼ inch dice
sour cream (optional)
freshly grated cheddar (optional)
Get out a big stock pot and saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. When the onions have become translucent, add the pepper and the serrano. Remove the sausage links from their plastic casings, and chop into pieces. Throw in with the onions, raise the temperature, and saute until the sausage bits get charred in places. Add the spices, and stir to combine.
Add the tomatoes with their juices and the vegetable stock. Drain and rinse the beans, then add to the pot with the corn. Bring to a boil, then add the squash. Lower the heat to a simmer, and let the chili stew for 20-30 minutes, until the squash is soft and the flavors blend.
Ladle into bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream and a generous handful of freshly grated cheddar.