Winter Squash and Root Vegetable Black Bean Chili (Slow Cooker)

By Heather of Kitchen Concoctions:

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 5-6 hours on high, 8-9 hours on low Wait Time: 8-12 hours Serves: 8-10

1 pound dried black beans*

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

½ large butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 large carrots, peeled and shredded 1 jalapeno, minced

1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin puree

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with liquid

7-8 cups vegetable broth (plus more as needed)

1 teaspoon each salt and black pepper

½-1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 ½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried parsley

½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 tablespoon brown sugar

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Pick through dried beans removing any beans that are broken or discolored and rinse beans under cold water. Pour beans into a large bowl and cover with at least two inches of water. Cover, place in refrigerator and allow beans to soak for 6-8 hours or overnight.

After soaking, dump soaking water and rinse beans. Place rinsed beans into slow cooker. Add remaining ingredients and stir to thoroughly combine. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or on low for 8-9 hours; or until beans are tender. Stir 2-3 times during cooking process and add additional broth as needed.

Serve as desired with sour cream, cheese, cornbread, chives, etc.

*Note: Three (19-ounce) cans of black beans, which have been drained and rinsed, can be substituted for the dried. Combine beans, 2-3 cups vegetable broth and all the other ingredients in slow cooker and reduce cooking time by 1-2 hours.