squash done2What do you eat when it’s frigid outside?

For us, it’s soup, stew or chili, liberally seasoned with spices that warm us from the inside out.

Spices like cumin. Chipotles. Mexican chili powder.

Last night, it was a riff on an old Cooking Light chili recipe. Bursting with beans, turkey, shredded butternut squash and spices, it was filling, healthy and — most important — warming.

What are your favorite dishes to ward off the chill?

Cold Weather Chili (adapted from Cooking Light)

  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 2 cups shredded butternut squash (or 1 1/2 cups cubed)
  • 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, undrained and roughly chopped
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken or turkey

squash ingredients

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the red pepper and onion. Season with salt and pepper, and saute over low heat until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent.

Increase the heat to medium, and add the garlic and spices. Saute for 1 minute.

squash wholeStir in the butternut squash and tomatoes. Add the chicken broth and bring everything to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the beans and simmer an additional 25 minutes.

Turn off the heat and stir in the chicken or turkey. Let the chili stand for 5 minutes for the meat to warm and the flavors to come together.

Serve with dollops of sour cream, grated cheese, chopped red onions and cilantro. You’ll have enough for 6 generous bowlfuls.

squash simmering