These Butterflies

Pumpkin Chili

Pumpkin Chili

Fall is officially here, Halloween has past and the clocks have gone back – there is no way to deny that cold weather is here and colder weather is fast approaching.  Yes, winter is coming but this year I’m ready with tons of quick and easy soups.  I’ve always been a big soup person, but I’ve realized I need to branch out beyond the classic butternut squash soup and the easy potato soups and attempt other varieties.  After being surrounded by pumpkins at the grocery stores the past month or so I decided to grab one of the smaller pie pumpkins and see what all I could do with him – that didn’t involve baking a pie.  After debating a pumpkin bisque, I decided to go for broke and attempt a pumpkin chili.  I know from previous experience that sweet potatoes and butternut squash go well with chilies (and beans) so figured that the similarly tasting (to me) pumpkin would also fit well in this equation.  One of those if x=y and b=y than x=b moments – and there we also have proof that on occasion I did occasionally pay attention in math class.

These Butterflies

Serves 5-6


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 green pepper, diced

1 vidalia onion, diced

1 serrano pepper, diced

1 cup pumpkin puree (homemade or store bought)

2 cups dark kidney beans

2 cups light (or "normal") kidney beans

2 cans diced tomatoes, "chili style"

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp cayenne powder (optional)

1 cup vegetable stock, divided


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and peppers and cook for 7 minutes, or until slightly golden.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients, with the exception of the vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Stirring once at around 30 minutes - at which point if chili is too thick add some of the stock 1/4 cup at a time.
  3. Remove lid and taste, add more spices as needed. Then cook for a final 15 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is one of the few that I made up on the spot and decided to just go ahead and post – typically something gets tested a few times but I was so impressed with how this all came together I couldn’t resist.  For those seeking a milder chili swap the serrano for a jalapeno – and for extra mild seed the jalapeno first.    As for toppings – chives, cheese, and sour cream are the staples in my house but there is no right or wrong way to top your chili. Another awesome thing about this recipe is it can easily be modified for a slow cooker.  Just pre-cook the onion and peppers (either day or night before) and then toss all ingredients in to the slowcooker.  When using the slow cooker I add the full cup of water and cook on low for 7 hours, easier to thicken it up with flour than trying to rescue a scorched dish .