I love fall. I love cold crispy weather. And, I love pumpkin. But I’m not too crazy about sweet pumpkin dishes or even about sweet “sweet” potato dishes either. So I decided to make a savory pumpkin recipe. A couple of nights ago, my family pitched in together to make chili on a cold frosty Nebraska night. Tonight it is a cold chilly Texas night and chili seemed to be on order too. But we had no beef… What to do? Invent! Hubby had two servings (unusual for him) and said, “you have to remember how to make this, it’s good.” So, here it is.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 good-sized leeks including the green tops (leeks are not scallions, and are not green onions) or 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, diced including the leaves
- 2 carrots, diced (or 1 snack pack )
- 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1 (32 oz.) carton reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin purée (NOT pumpkin pie filling, needs to be 100% pure pumpkin without any flavorings)
- 1 (15 oz.) can black beans
- ½ cup frozen or sm can of corn kernels (mexicorn works great too)
- 1 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (I used 2% Fage Greek Yogurt)
- 2 teaspoons – 2 tablespoon ground cumin* (I LOVE comino and use a lot)
- 1 tablespoon pinto bean seasoning (Fiesta)
- 1-2 tbsp chili powder (Gebhardt’s)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoon Cider Vinegar
- 3 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon or more of red cayenne pepper (start with less and add to taste)
Optional garnish finely chopped fresh cilantro, greek yogurt, diced avocado, shredded cheddar cheese and tortilla chips
Heat olive oil in deep soup pan, add leeks, celery , garlic. Sweat out the leeks and celery until they are just starting to caramelize, then add the carrots. Sauté till carrots are tender, add the black beans, corn, pumpkin, mix up. Add the spices, and cider vinegar mix up. Add some broth until it is like runny pudding in consistency ( it will not use all the broth). Add the yogurt. Now add the corn and chicken. heat and stir. If it gets to thick, add more broth. Keep stirring every once in a while until the chicken is hot. Add more broth if you need to. You will probably not use all the broth.
I prefer to make this very thick so it is like a chili. You can easily turn it into a tortilla type soup and stretch the recipe for more people if you add more broth. if you do that, you will need to adjust the seasoning by probably adding more.
My family loves comino and chili and spicy foods, so after the flavor was good, I added MORE. Use the smaller amounts first, until you know what your personal taste is like. And, you can tone down the spiciness by adding more yogurt if you need to.
I served the Chicken Pumpkin Chili with a dob of greek yogurt, grated cheese, and sprinkling of chopped cilantro.
*I ground my own comino seed in a small mortar and pestle. I also used leeks. I find leeks sweeter and smoother tasting than regular onions, and prefer to use them whenever I can find them.