The days of fall are upon us and it’s the perfect weather for a bowl of Butternut Beef Chili.
The nights have turned cool, but the days are still warm. It’s perfect fall weather and I know it won’t last long, so I’m trying to enjoy it.
Although I love fall, I’m also reluctantly preparing to give up sundresses and sleeveless shirts and flip flops for sweaters and jeans and boots.
One of the things I love about fall is that it once again becomes perfectly acceptable to make a steaming hot pot of soup. And it’s even more fall with butternut squash in it.
I love winter squash. I don’t love peeling and chopping them. This is largely because I have a knack for cutting my fingers with sharp things. In high school I sliced my finger open with a X-Acto knife while working on the school newspaper. That one required stiches. About 10 years ago, I cut my finger with a serrated bread knife while slicing French bread for fondue. That wound probably needed stiches, but then my cheese fondue would have gotten cold, so I choose a hot pot of cheese over the hospital (for the record, it healed just fine). And in August I made the mistake of using my mandolin slicer without the guard and I sliced the top of my finger. The finger has healed, but it still doesn’t feel completely normal. Probably something about the nerves growing back together.
So needless to say, if I can prevent cutting tough vegetables with sharp knives, it’s a good thing. Especially if it saves me an ER visit. I buy butternut squash peeled and cubed with the steam in the bag vegetables in the produce section of my grocery store. It’s literally open and dump.
Whether you decide to cheat or cut your butternut squash the old fashioned way, start this soup by cooking the onion, red bell pepper, and ground beef in a little olive oil inside a stock pot or dutch oven. Once the beef is browned, add the tomatoes, butternut squash, broth, tomato paste, spices, and beans. Bring the mixture to a boil.
Once the soup has boiled, turn down the heat and cook for about 20 minutes until the butternut squash is tender.
Spoon the soup into bowls and garnish with green onions, cilantro, and shredded cheddar cheese. You could also add a little sour cream, but I rarely have any. I’ve found that plain Greek yogurt works just as well. It also helps cool the soup down for kids.
Welcome fall in a sweater and pair of boots with a bowl of this Butternut Beef Chili in your hands.
- 1T olive oil
- 1 pound 93/7 ground beef
- 1 c chopped onion
- 1 c chopped red bell pepper
- 3 c chopped tomato or 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
- 3 c chopped and peeled butternut squash (about 1 small or 1 12 oz bag butternut squash)
- 3 c chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 T tomato paste
- 1½ t dried oregano
- 1½ t ground cumin
- 1½ t chili powder
- 1½ t garlic powder
- ½ t salt
- ¼ t crushed red pepper
- 1 15.5 oz can Great Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 c shredded cheddar cheese
- ½ c nonfat Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, red bell pepper, and ground beef in a stock pot. Cook until the beef is browned.
- Add the tomatoes, butternut squash, broth, tomato paste, oregano, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, crushed red pepper, and beans. Bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture has come to a boil, reduce the heat to minimum and cook for 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is tender.
- Garnish with the green onions, cilantro, shredded cheddar cheese, and Greek yogurt or sour cream.