Veggie Chili (with Butternut Squash!)

Cook this up as an impressive Superbowl Party dish! 

INGREDIENTS:

·         2 tablespoons olive oil
·         1 medium onion, chopped
·        4 Italian red eppers, chopped
·         1 small butternut squash (1½ pounds or less), peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes
·         4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
·         1 tablespoon chili powder
·         ½+ tablespoon chopped chipotle pepper
·         1 teaspoon ground cumin
·         ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
·         1 bay leaf
·         2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
·          2 cups diced tomatoes, including the liquid
·         2 cups vegetable broth (or one 14-ounce can)
·         Salt, to taste
·         2 avocados, diced
·         Crumbled tortilla chips
1.       In a 4- to 6-quart Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper and butternut squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are turning translucent.
2.      Turn the heat down to medium-low and add the garlic, chili powder, ½ tablespoon chopped chipotle peppers, cumin and cinnamon. Cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the bay leaf, black beans, tomatoes and their juices and broth. Stir to combine and cover for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Taste about halfway through cooking and add more chopped chipotle peppers if you’d like.
3.      You’ll know your chili is done when the butternut squash is nice and tender and the liquid has reduced a bit, producing the hearty chili consistency we all know and love. Add salt to taste.
4.      Serve the chili in individual bowls, topped with crispy tortilla strips and plenty of diced avocado.
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