Pumpkin Navy Chili

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Last fall, a group of us started the tradition if the autumn Chili Cook-Off. Prizes were awarded for Most Innovative and Best Overall (trophies were glass pepper statues). I won Most Innovative for a totally impromptu cocoa chili. This weekend my friends are having the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off, so I was inspired to make one of my own over here.

I decided awhile ago this year’s chili would feature pumpkin. I came across this slow-cooker recipe this week, and thought I’d riff off that. I don’t have a slow cooker, and am honestly lacking cooking equipment in transition (I also miss my spice cabinet to death – I have spent 3 years honing it). What follows is the recipe as I cooked it.
I varied it slightly from the original. For example, I don’t like ground meat, so I used turkey breast. Chili is also a hearty gluten-free meal as well, as long as you check your bouillon cube! And it’s fairly cheap! I got about 6 servings out of it. I used turkey, but you could easily make it vegetarian by adding tofu, or just adding a few more veggies for interest. I wouldn’t recommend it for a quick meal, though. Like all soups, it’s more something you want to let “ripen” for awhile on low heat and then finish off with flourish spices!

Ingredients:
Turkey breast (or tofu)
Onion
White (navy) bean
Pumpkin
Jalapeño
Bouillon cube
Parmesan cheese
Cumin
Bay leaf
Garlic
Salt
Mrs Dash (Chipotle Chicken)
Sriracha (hot cock) sauce
Oil

In a skillet, heat up your oil, garlic, and cumin on medium high. When oil and spice is hot enough to sizzle a little (but not set off your smoke alarms), add onion. When onion is semi-translucent, remove to pot, except for a few onions and garlic, and continue to cook on medium high heat.

Add turkey to skillet, and sprinkle on Mrs. Dash. Cook until turkey us just cooked through. While turkey is cooking, when the rest of the onions become more translucent, add water and bouillon cube. Let simmer.

When turkey is cooked, add to pot. Add pumpkin and navy beans. Add salt, cumin, and sriracha to taste. Let simmer on medium low heat for awhile. You can let this step go indefinitely, letting the flavours stew together.

About 30 minutes before you’re ready to eat, add chopped jalapeño, parmesan, and bay leaves. Serve with a dollop of Balkan yogurt and jalapeño garnish. We ate it with a baked red potato side, cooked like so, sans garlic. It’s the Hubby’s current favorite way to cook potatoes!
The bachelor boys at JM’s house this weekend all gave it rave reviews. To my Vancouver friends having their Chili Cook-Off this weekend, you’re lucky I’m not there to compete, because this one would give you all a run for your money!
-W-

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