Spicy Veggie Chili with Summer Squash

adapted from Dina Cheney, Fine Cooking

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced

1/2 orange bell pepper, diced

1/2 cup scallions, white, light green and some dark green parts (4 onions)

2 Tbsp minced garlic

2 tsp minced jalapeno (1/2 medium)

1 1/2 tsp cumin

2 tsp kosher salt, divided, 

5 grinds fresh black pepper

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 Tbsp oregano flakes

2 cups frozen corn

2 yellow squash, quarter lengthwise, then cut into thick slices

1 zucchini squash, quarter lengthwise, then cut into thick slices

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 Tbsp minced chipotle chiles or use just the adobo sauce

2 Tbsp all-purpose flour

1 28-oz fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

3 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice

1 15-oz can pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Garnish:  Tortilla chips, sour cream, chopped avocado

In a 10-inch skillet, heat half of the oil on medium-high.  Add the bell peppers, scallions, garlic, jalapeno, half of the salt, black pepper, cumin, chili powder and oregano.  Saute about six minutes, just until the vegetables soften.  Add the squash and the corn and saute an additional three minutes.  Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.  Add the beans and mix well.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining oil, tomato paste, chipotle chiles or adobo sauce, and flour.  Cook until the mixture is thickened and the flour disappears.  Increase the heat to high and add the tomatoes with their juices, vegetable stock, lime juice, and the remaining salt.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring well for about 3 minutes.  Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.  Mix well.  Cover and cook on low for 3 to 4 hours.  Stir in the cilantro.  Serve with chips, sour cream and avocado.