Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili

A California take on the classic American dish.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions, chopped

8 garlic cloves, chopped

2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon ground coriander

2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes

1 pound dried black beans, rinsed

1 sprig fresh epazote* (optional)

10 cups water

2 chipotles from canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced

2 teaspoons dried Mexican oregano

Coarse kosher salt

1 2 1/4-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)

1/2 cup quick-cooking bulgur (omit if gluten free)

Sour cream

Coarsely grated Pepperjack cheese

Chopped fresh cilantro

Pickled jalapeño rings

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Add garlic; stir 1 minute. Sprinkle chili powder and coriander over; stir 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes with juice, beans, chipotles, oregano, and epazote if using. Add 10 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer until beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (time will vary depending on freshness of beans). Remove the epazote sprig. Season to taste with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper.

DO AHEAD Chili can be made up to 2 days ahead. Cool slightly. Refrigerate uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm chili before continuing.

Stir squash and bulgur, if using, into chili. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until squash and bulgur are tender, about 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide chili among bowls. Serve with sour cream, cheese, red onion, cilantro, pickled jalapeño rings, and cornbread.

*Epazote is an aromatic herb native to Central America and used in the traditional cuisines of the region. If you are lucky enough to grow it in your garden, add a sprig while cooking beans to help reduce the gassiness associated with eating the magical fruit. The Co-op carries epazote starters from Leaf and Lark farm during the spring and summer months. It’s a very easy herb to keep in the garden!


Yield: 6 servings