Winter is coming, friends. But luckily before winter the Gods have placed autumn, which is quite a fabulous season actually. Proof? Well, among other wonderful things such as colourful leaves, autumn brings us pumpkins. I just love them. They’re knobbly, orange or amazingly patterned, and come in the most fascinating varieties. And you can carve them. Here’s some serious pumpkin carving we spotted while in New York.
This year I decided I’d give them their due and prepare some pumpkin-based recipes that go beyond a pumpkin soup (delicious, but there are so many exciting things you can also do with pumpkins)! I picked up a Hokkaido pumpkin at the farmer’s market and made some pumpkin purée, following these instructions. Note that a Hokkaido pumpkin needs less time to get done, mine was fine after just 30 minutes. And then I used some of the purée to make some pumpkin chili, for which I modified this recipe a bit.
Ingredients (4 generous portions)
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 small dried chiles
- olive oil
- 1 large red pepper or two smaller ones
- 400g mixed minced meat
- 250g white beans (1 can)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes
- ca. 150ml pumpkin purée
- ca. 200ml vegetable stock
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp ground cumin (the Americans among you will notice that these spices thrown together just so happen to be pumpkin spice. So if you live in the US, you can just add up the quantities and use the equivalent amount of pumpkin spice)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 cloves
- tabasco sauce, salt and pepper to taste
- fresh cilantro, chopped
Sauté the onion in the olive oil until transparent. Add the minced garlic and the dried chiles and sauté a little more. Add the peppers and the cumin and cook for another five minutes. Add the minced meat and the cloves and cook until the meat is almost done. Add the white beans and the chopped tomatoes, the pumpkin purée, the vegetable stock, oregano, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Let the chili simmer for about 25 minutes (depending on the amount of liquid, until it has reached a creamy consistency). Season with tabasco, salt, and pepper. Before serving, sprinkle generously with the chopped cilantro.
I had it with corn tortillas and a healthy dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!