Pumpkin and Parsnip Curry-Chili with Cashews

This time of year, I can't stop the craving for warm one-pot wonders -- namely, those slow simmering concoctions that naturally pack flavor (and several food groups) into a single bowl. Chili has always been my golden child in that department -- patient and forgiving as I add a pinch more of this, a drizzle of that til I get it just right. (It's the perfect sort of recipe for a creative-type like myself, who needs a little wiggle room for experimenting at the stove). 

 In lieu of a recent pumpkin curry that I can't get out of my head, I was inspired to try a riff on my typical chili routine. Combining essential elements of each dish I arrived a chili-curry mashup of roots, squash, beans, nuts and spice. Pumpkin and parsnip honor the season. Pinto beans and cashews give it heft and crunch. All ingredients stew in a chunky tomato base that is perfumed with curry powder and and a touch of cayenne. A kitchen experiment gone right: chili and curry -- a two-part one-pot wonderful.


Makes: 6 cups

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 large red onion, diced
2 large parsnips, peeled and cut into chunks (about 1/2" to 1" in size)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can pumpkin puree
2 cups diced tomatoes, with juice
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup whole cashews, roasted and unsalted
2 tsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne peper
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh parsley, for garnish

1. In a large pot, heat about 1 Tbsp olive oil on medium-high heat; add diced onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and parsnip and cook until parsnip is al dente -- about 5 minutes more.

2. Add tomatoes, beans, pumpkin puree, cashews and about 1/2 cup chicken stock to the pot; stir to combine. Bring to a boil; then reduce to simmer. Stir in curry powder, cayenne, salt and pepper to taste.

3. Simmer for 20-30 minutes; parsnip should be soft and cashews should retain a slight crunch. Garnish with fresh parsley to serve.

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