Hutchins Farm gave me a pumpkin a couple of months ago during the farmers market season, and I thought it would go well in the chili.
At first, I was going to just chop it up, but I decided to look up how to make a pumpkin puree instead; I heard it was pretty easy.
I found a helpful guide for making pumpkin puree, and come to find out, all you have to do is cut the pumpkin in half, gut it, put the halves face down on a pan lined with parchment paper, and bake them in the over at 450 for an hour or so.
No need to add anything, and the roasted pumpkin turns out to be kind of like mashed potatoes. From there you could blend the pumpkin and make it super smooth, but I decided to leave it how it was.
Click the image below to see the guide I used for making the pumpkin puree.
While I have my own selection of veggies and ingredients for this recipe, feel free to branch out and add some of your favorite ingredients. I decided on mirepoix veggies (celery carrot and onion), sweet potato, mushrooms, and red lentils.
I added fresh sage and winter spices like cinnamon and clove, and then I added some cayenne and paprika (I wish I had smoked paprika oh my hands, that might have been even better).
Smelling everything cooking together is one of the most rewarding things ever; especially when you’re cozy on the couch, and it’s single-digit-freezing outside. It sure makes you feel blessed to be in a warm place with comforting food; I wish everyone in the world could experience this moment.
I used dried lentils, so it took about 6 hours for them to be cooked. If you use canned lentils/precooked lentils, I would imagine it would only take 3-4 hours.
I couldn’t let the pumpkin seeds go to waste, so as you can see in the featured photo, I roasted them off, and added them as a crunchy garnish.
Slow Cooker Winter Vegan Chili
"Set it and forget it" never smelled so good. This chili is loaded with winter spices like cinnamon and clove, and is loaded with so much plant-based nutrients.
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
- 3 celery stalks chopped
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1/2 yellow onion chopped
- 3 shiitake mushroom chopped
- 1 sweet potato, medium dice
- 11 sage leaves
- 1 cup dried lentils
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1.5 tsp ground clove
- 1 tsp paprika or smoked paprika
- 2.5 tsp kosher salt
- 2 tsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- 2 cups veggie stock
Put everything in your slow cooker, and cook on high for about 6 hours. Make sure to stir once in a while, so everything cooks evenly.
I am SO thankful for slow cookers. To be honest, it’s been a while since I used one, but after this experience, I am totally going to be using it a lot more in 2018.
I can’t wait to eat this yummy chili in so many different ways. If you make it, please let me know what you think.