After a very long summer, temperatures have finally dropped down to the 60s. For those of you with “real seasons” this might seem like a joke, but for us Californians, 61 degrees is considered jacket weather. And I am proud to say, I actually put one on the other day (although before I knew it, the sun came out and it was warm again…but still, it was nice to “pretend” it was autumn for a bit).
As much as I would prefer the temperatures to stay at 75 degrees so I can run around in shorts and a t-shirt, there is something so sweet about the crisp autumn air. The green leaves have begun their transformation to yellow, orange and red, and the wind has picked up just enough to hear it rustling through the trees. It’s beginning to feel a lot like fall which means the weather is just right for a nice warm bowl of chili. And with Thanksgiving only 13 days away (yes, I am still counting), the addition of pumpkin makes this chili even more fun and festive.
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped
1 jalapeños, seeded and finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground turkey
1 (14.5 ounces) can diced tomatoes, with their liquid
1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin purée
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 (15 ounces) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapeño and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.
Recipe slightly adapted from Whole Foods Market
I wish I could take credit for this delicious meal, but it was my lovely friend and neighbor who made it for us. One of the things I love most about where we live is doing impromptu family style meals with our neighbors. And since this recipe serves six it is the perfect dish to share with others.
For toppings, we went with a dollop of sour cream, a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and some chopped fresh cilantro. But feel free to get creative! Sliced green onions are always a favorite or if you really want to get wild, add some crumbled bacon :) The sky is the limit. Oh, and don’t forget to pair it with your preferred corn bread recipe. We served ours with corn bread muffins dressed with butter and honey. A nice sweet compliment to the heat of the chili.
Your turn: What is your favorite meal to prepare when the weather gets chilly? Do you have any special toppings that you like to add to your chili? Looking forward to reading your responses :)