A lovely variation on a theme. Serving chili including butternut squash and seasoned with Middle-Eastern spices just seems so logical. Another delicious selection from Williams-Sonoma.
Moroccan-spiced vegetarian chili (slightly modified by me – less heat)
1 large ancho chilie
3 cups water
4 large whole garlic cloves, plus 6 large cloves, sliced
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander
1 28-ounce can chopped tomatoes
1 butternut squash, seeded, peeled, cut into 1/2″ cubes
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2″ dice
1/3 cup sliced dried apricots
1/3 cup sliced pitted prunes
In a saucepan, combine the chilie and water and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat, cover, and let stand for 15 minutes. Using tongs, transfer the chilie to a work surface, reserve the liquid. Discard the stems and seeds from the chilie. In a food processor, combine the chilie with the whole garlic cloves and 1/4 cup of the liquid. Process until smooth. Set aside.
Heat a heavy pot over medium heat. Coat the pot with nonstick cooking spray. Add the onion, sliced garlic cloves, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, and coriander and saute until the onion and garlic have softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, butternut squash, and the chilie puree. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the squash is just tender, about 25 minutes.
Stir in the chickpeas with their liquid, the zucchini, dried apricots, and prunes. Simmer, uncovered, until all of the squash are tender, about 15 minutes more. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot, with pita, or rice, or couscous. Makes 6 servings.