As soon as the snow comes so do the chilis at our house. Yesterday was going to be a busy afternoon so I decided to get a head start on dinner before I went to work. I honestly rarely use our slow cooker and it has been in a box for the last year, however I decided that I would give it another try. Besides slow cooked food is always better especially when it comes to soups and chilis.
I have to say I used to be a little lost about how the slow cooker worked and years ago i decided I wanted to make chili in the slow cooker so I chopped everything up and placed it in the slow cooker, turned it on and then thought it was just going to cook everything perfectly…including the uncooked rice I had added to the chili. Boy did I learn my lesson- there are certain things that need to be cooked prior to being placed in the slow cooker (like uncooked rice).
That being said I learned my lesson and this chili turned out really delicious.
Slow Cooker Smoky Pumpkin Chili
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 carrots, diced
- 3 celery stalks, diced
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder or you can use 2 chipotles in adobo diced**
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 (15oz) can of low sodium vegetable broth, reserve 2 tablespoons
- 1 (15oz) can no-salt added diced tomatoes
- 1 (15oz) can brown lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1 (150z) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon lite soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon umeboshi plum vinegar (optional)*
- 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (make sure it’s unsweetened)
- 1 cup frozen corn
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add in the onions, carrots and celery; saute for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, spices and 2 tablespoons of vegetable broth into the onion mixture, cook for 1 minute.
- Add the pumpkin, vegetable broth, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, lite soy, umeboshi plum vinegar, cocoa powder and onion mixture to the slow cooker. Stir to combine and then cover and turn the slow cooker onto low for 6 to 8 hours.
- After 5-6 hours stir in the corn and taste for salt and pepper.
*You could use red wine vinegar.
**Chipotle is essential to make this chili smoky