When the fall and winter chill settles in and we reach for warm, snuggly blankets and socks, you know it’s time to break out your favorite soup recipes. At least, that’s how it works for me. This Butternut Squash Cider Chili Recipe will become a fast favorite.
This one is a no-brainer and you’ll want to save it, tweet it and make it over and over. As usual, you do not need to follow the recipe to the “t.” It’s easy to adapt into a vegetarian recipe or to simply use what you have in your pantry. Substitute the meat with mushroom (dried or fresh), a wild rice blend, quinoa, millet, a variety of beans or tofu crumbles. I also skipped cumin in this dish but add it to taste, if you like. Dan and I prefer the sweetness in the cider and butternut squash. The extra heat can come from cayenne or sprinkle of hot sauce.
Seriously, do what you like with this recipe. If you don’t have butternut squash but can use sweet potato or another winter squash, then use it. Spread your cooking wings with this one! You can do it.
Variations and recipe tips
- This recipe can easily be made vegan/vegetarian by substituting the ground turkey with 2 cups diced winter squash, 1 pound chopped and sautéed mushrooms or 2 cups prepared beans.
- Easily prepare the recipe using a slow cooker. Follow steps numbers 1 and 2. When you are ready to turn your slow cooker, add the cooked turkey and vegetables to the remaining ingredients and follow the slow cooker instructions for a cooking guide.
- You won’t use the whole can of tomato paste for this recipe, so freeze it for later use: scoop tablespoon-sized portions onto waxed paper and freeze. Once frozen, the paste can be placed in a sealable bag for later use.
- Often when using pasta or rice in soups, the starch will continue to cook, absorbing liquid, even when removed from the heat, which results in a stew-like soup. To avoid that, you may cook the rice separately and add it in just prior to serving.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large (about 8 ounces) onion, chopped
- 1 large (about 6 ounces) bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 pound lean, ground turkey
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 (28-ounce can) diced tomatoes
- 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups apple cider
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
- 12 ounces butternut squash, cubed and peeled
- ½ cup uncooked brown rice
- 1 cup corn kernels
- 2 cups cooked kidney beans
- Cayenne pepper
- Sea salt (dash)
- Ground black pepper (dash)
- Grated cheese, chopped avocado, non-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream and diced tomatoes (optional)
- In a 4-quart pot, sauté the onion, pepper and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender.
- Add the ground turkey, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and oregano. Break the turkey apart, creating crumbles; cook for 8 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, broth, cider, tomato paste, butternut squash, and rice; bring to a boil.
- Cover, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
- Stir in the corn and beans; cook for a remaining 10 minutes.
- Season to taste with cayenne, salt, and pepper.
- Garnish with cheese, avocado, non-fat Greek yogurt and/or diced tomatoes.