My Butternut Squash Chili (DailyBuzz Moms 9x9)

On a cold Winter's evening, does anything hit the spot quite like a comforting bowl of soup? Well, why settle for a simple soup when you can fill your bowl with a hearty chili?

This is my first Daily Buzz Moms 9x9 challenge and they are tackling comforting soup recipes. When I was brainstorming a recipe I thought immediately about our Butternut Squash Chili. This recipe came out of an abundance of butternut squash grown on the farm this year.

This recipe was adapted from our family's 4 bean chili recipe. The hearty flavor pairs well with the sweetness of the Butternut Squash.

You Will Need:2 yellow onions, choppedolive oil5 cloves of garlic, minced1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped2 cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained1 can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained1 can Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes, drained1/2 c. Chicken or Vegetable stock2 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce1 6-oz can Tomato Paste2 tsp. Smoked Paprika1 tsp. Onion Powder3 Tbsp. Chili Powder2 Tbsp. Cumin1 Tbsp. Oregano4 c. Butternut Squash, peeled and cubedSalt and Pepper to taste
Preparing the Butternut Squash is simple. Most of the best "meat" is in the neck. Begin by cutting off the ends and separating the neck from the bulb.

Since this was a very large squash, I cut the neck into 3 smaller sections. Either cut or use a vegetable peeler to remove the outer skin on each section. Cut the bulb in half, scoop out the seeds and then peel the skin before cubing. You want 4 cups of cubed squash for this recipe. The rest can be frozen for later use in other soups or casseroles.
Now add olive oil to a large skillet. Start by sauteing the onions. when they become semi-translucent add the garlic and bell peppers. Continue to soften for about 3 minutes on medium-low heat.

Add the softened vegetables to your crock pot along with the beans and tomatoes.

In a separate bowl combine the herbs and spices. Whisk to combine and add to the crock pot.

In another bowl whisk together the stock, Worcestershire Sauce and Tomato Paste. Add this to the chili and mix well.

Layer the Butternut Squash on top of the chili mixture. Cover and set for 6 hours. The steam will help to cook the squash and it won't break down and become mushy if it is on the top.

Before serving stir the squash into the chili and salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!