Soup No. 7: Sweet’n’Spicy Pumpkin Chili

Dec.02.09 § Leave a comment

I know, I know. First I don’t post for two weeks. Then I give you three posts in one week. And now I’m M.I.A. again. Consistency is not one of my strong points. But, hey,  I’m here!

So, I made this soup in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday. I’ve never cooked with pumpkin before. I’ve never even made a pumpkin pie. I’ve also never even eaten pumpkin soup. That’s probably because its close relative butternut squash doesn’t thrill me in soups. They’re always lacking a punch, like where’s the warmth of a pumpkin pie that I’m expecting? Or the savoriness of a soup? So I knew if I made something with pumpkin, it needed gusto, it needed some “Bam!”

All I can say is, I tried. And better luck next time. For now, put some hot sauce on this one and call it day. Don’t get me wrong — it’s good. It just fell short of the spectacular expectations I had for a pumpkin recipe.

Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili

2 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalepeno, seeded and diced

About 1 tsp of fresh grated ginger (saw off a small chunk of the whole root, peel it and grate it over the pot)

About 1/2 cup chopped broccoli tops (just the tree tops, no tree trunks, I mean, unless you like that part)

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 tsp oregano

2 tbsp chili powder

1 28 oz can diced tomotoes

1 15 oz can pumpkin

1 tbsp agave nectar

1 cup chick peas

1 cup black beans

1 cup pinto beans


Heat a large soup pot on medium high. Add the oil once the pot is hot, then toss in the shallots.

I chose shallots because they are delicious and I missed them. It’s been a while. You could, of course, use onion. Let the shallots get soft then drop in the garlic and jalepeno. Stir and, as Emeril says, let them “get happy.”

Grate the ginger into the pot. I’m into putting ginger in soups lately. I used to loathe ginger. Or, actually I thought I did. I never really ate it, but my mother said it made her gag. Turns out, I love it, in everything. I think it gives this chili some extra spice and warmth. Add more if you really like it, but since I’m a bit scared of it still, I never add too much.

Finally, add the broccoli and stir. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, then add the seasonings. Stir your seasoning in and deglaze with the juice from your diced tomatoes, then toss the tomatoes in. Add the pumpkin and stir. Then bring in your agave. This gives you the sweet, obviously. You can use sugar, if you want. But who uses sugar anymore? Not unless you want diabetes, right? You could also use maple syrup in this recipe, I think it would be delicious.

Anyway, now you can add the beans. Since I always cook dry beans, I can use whatever quantity I want. If I was using canned, I’d probably just go with one can of black beans and one can of pintos, so as not to overload on the bean content. But if you want to use three cans, why not!  Once you add them, cover the pot and simmer for a half hour to let those flavors blend.

Serve with cheese and a little hot sauce, and viola! Also, this is one of those soups that is better — way better — the next day. The flavors have to spend the night together to really get comfortable around each other, if you know what I mean. ;)


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