Mornings have become cool and crisp, while the afternoons hug you like a warm blanket. Fall is officially here and that means it’s time for golden leaves, football, PSLs*, and most importantly — soup! Chili, stew, bisque, porridge, chowder; whatever the form it will warm you to your very core, chasing away the chill in the air and leaving you satisfied and cozy.
For the last month or so, we’ve had Fordhook acorn squash growing in the garden; a few vines with small, cream colored, oblong squash just trying to make their way into the world. My excitement for soup combined with a need to harvest some of the squash led me down the rabbit hole that is Pinterest until I found the perfect recipe. Slow cooker black bean and acorn squash chili. Of course for me, a good chili should always be accompanied by cornbread so it was inevitable that I would make that as well!
The chili cooked in our Crockpot while I spent my day cleaning up the garden, harvesting the last of the summer and early fall produce and preparing it for cover crop, and I finally learned how to use our tiller… on a hill. It was interesting to say the least! We still had so many tomatoes, a few small carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash, although everything seemed to be in miniature that day. After a long day in the garden, it felt so good to come home to a meal that was already prepared! I just had to whip up the cornbread and then sit down to enjoy!
My altered recipe is below, along with the link where I found the original. I only made a few changes but would probably still do a few things differently next time! So make your chili and pair it with your favorite cornbread, then sit down and revel in the autumn air.
3 Fordhook acorn squash, peeled and chopped
2 15-oz cans of black bean (or 3 cups of black beans)
2 15-oz cans of diced tomatoes (or 3 cups of roma tomatoes, finely chopped)
4-5 large carrots, chopped
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
3 cups of vegetable stock (or chicken stock if not vegetarian)
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon thyme
½ tsp cinnamon
Salt, to taste
Peel and chop all of the vegetables according to the ingredients list.
In a crockpot, combine all of the ingredients. Let cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Because of the size of this particular squash, I would either use a single large acorn squash as the original recipe calls for and cut it into larger chunks, or simply add my squash toward the end of the cooking process (last two hours if cooking on low for eight).
- Despite the amount of chili powder and cumin, I found that there wasn’t much spice to this particular recipe. I would consider adding more, or adding in fresh jalapenos if you like spice.
- Adding in bell peppers would probably give this a little more texture and change the flavor profile.
- Overall, add what you like! This is a chili and I am a firm believer that almost anything can go into them as long as there are beans (and usually meat).
*PSL – pumpkin spice latte, the fall craze that has taken over so much that you can get your PSL before the pumpkins are even ready.