Warming Pumpkin and Bean Chili


As the days get colder and the evenings darker I know I start to crave more comforting meals and this is certainly that. It’s a yummy bowl full of love and comfort – full of taste, texture and a bit of heat!

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You don’t have to use pumpkin, butternut squash would work just as well, and in fact so would sweet potato. You can also use any beans you like – I’ve made this a few times and just used the beans I had in my cupboard – kidney beans, haricot beans, pinto beans, butter beans, broad beans… Or even chickpeas!

For the Chili you will need:

3 cans of beans (drained)
2-3 cups chopped Pumpkin/squash/sweetpotato
2 cans chopped tomatoes or 600g of fresh chopped tomatoes
1/2 – 1 cup Vegetable stock (adjust as needed)
2 stalks Celery, chopped finely
1 Red onion, chopped finely
1 Pepper (red or yellow work well), diced
2 large Cloves of garlic, chopped finely
2 tbsp Tomato purée
2 tsp ground Chilli
2 tsp ground Cinnamon
2 tsp ground Cumin
1/2 tsp Allspice
1/2 tsp ground Cloves
1 tsp Cayenne powder
Himalayan rock salt and black pepper to taste

For the Cashew Sour Cream:
1 – 2 cup cashews soaked for at least a few hours in enough water to cover them (depending how much you want to make)
1/2 cup water
Juice of half a lemon
1 – 2 tsp apple cider vinegar (to taste)
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt

If you haven’t done so already soak your cashews.

Put a couple of tbsp of olive or coconut oil in a large stock pot and add the onion, celery, garlic and pepper and allow to cook until softened. Add all the spices and seasonings, mix well and cook for another 10 mins. You may need to add a little more oil – ensure you keep the heat low and stir frequently so you don’t allow the spices to stick.

Meanwhile chop your pumpkin or squash into decent sized pieces (approx 2cm square). Bring a pan of water to the boil and drop the pumpkin in. Boil for approx 5 – 7 mins – you don’t want it to soften too much but just to partially cook through. Drain them well.

Add the tomatoes and pumpkin to the stock pot and stir well. Then add the vegetable stock and all the beans. Make sure there is enough liquid to cover the beans well. Then pop the lid on and allow to cook on a low heat for 45 mins or until the beans and pumpkin are cooked through. I usually remove the lid for the last 15 mins and keep an eye on it so it can thicken up a bit.

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For the Cashew Sour Cream:

Drain the soaked cashews and pop in to a blender or processor. Add the water, lemon juice, cider vinegar and salt and blend until smooth. You can adjust the amount of water to control the thickness of the cream – less water will make it thicker. Pop in to the fridge until ready to serve.

Now grab yourself a nice big bowlful of chili and add a dollop of cashew cream and tuck in!

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