fall is here, which for me means oversized pajama pants, curling up on the couch, and eating big bowls of warm, comforting food. i seem to have an affinity to chili. because see, while i grew up in a family that loved to cook, i never actually learned how until i was married. i remember many evenings standing in our apartment kitchen absolutely clueless about what to make. it wasn’t until i started taking risks and experimenting with different flavors that i finally found my rhythm. and chili was one of those things that i could play around with wildly– it was a recipe that wasn’t, if that makes any sense. the possibilities were endless; bean variety, spice, viscosity, protein, and not to mention the interesting toppings that go along with it.
with cool weather, the urge for something rich and creamy kicks in. this chili combines the spicy meatiness of chorizo and the soft pillowiness of sweet potatoes. the refried beans create a luscious canvas. and the pumpkin balances flavors with its sweetness and lends a lovely orange hue. this is super delicious topped with crushed tortilla chips, cilantro, and Greek yogurt.
i am thrilled to once again collaborate with an amazing group of food bloggers for the second annual Virtual Pumpkin Party. you can bet on finding the most delicious recipes for anything pumpkin by heading over to Sara’s blog where she has listed the links. enjoy and happy pumpkin eating!
// pumpkin and chorizo chili with sweet potatoes + pinto beans
Makes enough to serve 6-8
1 pound chorizo
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 – 10 ounce package frozen sweet potatoes
1 – 15 ounce can refried pinto beans
1 quart jar veggie juice
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1 – 10 ounce can petite diced tomatoes with jalapeño and cilantro
1 heaping teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 – 8 ounce package cream cheese or neufchatel cheese, at room temperature
Suggestions for serving:
Crushed tortilla chips
Freshly chopped scallions
Sour cream/plain Greek yogurt
// In a large pot set over medium high heat, crumble the chorizo and cook, rendering off the fat; about 5-7 minutes. Tumble in the onions; stir and cook until translucent, just a few minutes. Toss in the sweet potatoes, refried pinto beans, veggie juice, pumpkin puree, tomatoes, chili powder, salt, and pepper; stir. Bring to a bubble and then turn the heat to low, cover most of the way with a lid and let cook for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally, tasting for seasoning. When it’s done, take off the heat and add the cream cheese, melting it in with a spoon.
Serve chili with crushed tortilla chips, fresh cilantro and scallions, sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, and a big mug of cold beer.