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pumpkin black bean chili

It’s not even November and I have already started listening to Christmas music.  I know, I know, it’s ridiculous.  But truly, this isn’t normal for me.  I usually roll my eyes at people who start decorating for Christmas before Halloween and don’t even do the whole Christmas music thing until December.  But today I was facebookin’ and saw Jessica at How Sweet It Is mention Michael Buble’s new Christmas album.  I was only halfway through my eye roll when I had a hunch that I really needed to check out the album.  I mean, it’s Michael Buble.  His voice is magical.  So I previewed it on iTunes and within 30 seconds I was clicking “Buy Album” and now Marc gets to tolerate me and my new album for the next 2 months.  Poor guy. 

Don’t worry, I’m not in the holiday baking mood quite yet.  Oh no, I’m still stuck on pumpkin!  I warned you this whole pumpkin thing wasn’t ending soon.  I was even pretty obvious that there was a pumpkin chili recipe coming your way, so I’m keeping my promise.  Here’s the thing: this chili doesn’t taste anything like pumpkin.  Instead of overpowering the chili with any pumpkin-y spice flavor, the pumpkin adds more of a subtle sweetness to the chili.  Combined with the green pepper, black beans, tomatoes, and spices, it turned out to be a wholesome, comforting vegetarian chili that I’m not ashamed to say I ate every last bit of.  It’s good stuff!  
Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

2 tbsp olive oil
1 white onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 (15 oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
shredded cheese or sour cream, for topping


In large soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion and green bell pepper and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.  

Add black beans, tomatoes, pumpkin, and spices.  You can add a little water or vegetable broth if you want to thin it out a little, but it all depends on how thick you like your chili.  Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.  Top with shredded cheese and/or sour cream.  Enjoy!  

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