Squash and Sweet Potato Chili

by The Crepes of Wrath

Sweet potatoes are incredibly versatile. Turn them into fries, a delicious take on a traditional au gratin, or simply bake and stuff with anything your heart desires. As the weather has turned colder though, my eyes are set on chili. What better way to celebrate the sweet potato than with this hearty vegan comfort dish with a hint of curry powder and a touch of agave nectar.

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus more as needed)
2 small shallots, minced
2 delicata small squash (or any other squash; I like delicata because you don’t have to peel it), diced into 1-inch cubes
2-3 small sweet potatoes, diced into 1-inch cubes
6 cloves garilc, minced
1 28-ounce can tomatoes (I used whole tomatoes and broke them up with my spoon, but you can use diced or whatever you prefer)
1 12-ounce beer (preferably something with a bit of body, like an amber ale)
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon agave nectar
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
rice (for serving)

1. In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat your olive oil over medium heat. Add in your shallot, and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add in your squash and sweet potatoes with a splash more olive oil, and cook until a bit browned, another 5 minutes or so.
3. Add in your garlic and stir for 1 minute, then add in your tomatoes, beer, curry powder, agave, paprika, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil.
4. Reduce the heat to simmering (medium or medium-low, depending on your burner), cover, and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom, for an hour or so, until the squash and potatoes are tender.
5. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
6. Serve over rice, with some crusty bread, or on its own. This chili freezes well – just thaw it out in the fridge a day before you want to use it, reheat, and enjoy.