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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

Directions:

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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