Meatless Squash and Mushroom Chili
- 8 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 cups finely chopped onions (from about 2 large)
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped
- ½ cup medium-hot chili powder blend, such as Gebhardt
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons dried oregano, crumbled
- ¾ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 8 cups canned vegetable broth
- 6 cups ½-inch pieces peeled orange winter squash, such as Hubbard or banana
- 2½ pounds piece
- ¾ cup yellow split peas
- 1½ pounds cremini or white button mushrooms, trimmed, cut into ½-inch chunks
- 4 cups (about) cooked pinto beans or
- flageolet beans from about 1½ cups dried (see Bean Know-How)
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- Heat 5 tablespoons oil in large heavy enameled cast-iron Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cover and cook until onions are tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and red pepper; saute 3 minutes. Add broth, squash, split peas and 1½ teaspoons salt. Bring to simmer. Cover partially and cook until split peas are tender, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add mushrooms and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover and cook until juices form, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Increase heat to high and saute until mushrooms are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
- Stir mushrooms into chili. Cover partially and cook until flavors blend, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Stir in beans and vinegar. Simmer until chili is very thick, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. DO-AHEAD TIP: For best flavor, try to make the chile at least 1 day in advance. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To serve, re-warm gently over low heat until hot.