Vegetarian Chili

I didn’t cook much while visiting my “happy place.” It’s not lost on me that part of the “happy” is the escape from reality, although the greater majority is spending time with my mom and dad, the mountains, the fresh air, the slower pace and most of all watching my kids interact with their grandparents (I mean, how many 73 year old papas challenge three kids to a ski race to the lift saying that “anyone who gets out of their tuck is an automatic loser!”–and yes, he means “automatic loser” vs. “automatically loses.” He won, of course.)

Anyway, when I did cook it was because we were having family friends over for Chili Dinner. I took on the vegetarian version and made one of my favorites, Homemade Vegetarian Chili from Cookie and Kate, that uses pantry staples and comes together quickly despite tasting like it’s been simmering on the stove all day. The trick to this recipe, and likely the main difference from many vegetarian chili recipes out there, is that at the end of the cooking process, you puree a bit of the chili in a blender to thicken the mixture and help it all come together. You’ll notice that there’s no meat substitute in this chili and that’s because I prefer it that way. If you tend to use soy crumbles of some variety in your version, I encourage you to give this recipe a try. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili

Vegetarian Chili
Serves 4
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 Tbls olive oil
  2. 1 medium red onion, chopped
  3. 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  4. 2 medium carrots, chopped
  5. 2 ribs celery, chopped
  6. ½ tsp salt, divided
  7. 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  8. 2 Tbls chili powder
  9. 2 tsp ground cumin
  10. 1½ tsp smoked paprika
  11. 1 tsp dried oregano
  12. 1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes, with their juices
  13. 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  14. 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  15. 2 c vegetable broth or water
  16. 1 bay leaf
  17. 2 Tbls chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing (if using)
  18. 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice, to taste
  19. Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, diced red onion, chopped jalapeño, etc.
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and ¼ teaspoon salt. Stir to combine and then cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer.
  4. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes. Remove the chili from heat.
  5. Transfer 1½ cups of the chili to a blender and blend until smooth, then pour the blended mixture back into the pot.
  6. Add the chopped cilantro (if using), stir to blend, and then mix in the vinegar, to taste.
  7. Add salt to taste, too—I added a pinch more at this point.
  8. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice.
Notes
  1. This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days. I haven't tried, but I bet it would freeze well, too.
Adapted from Cookie and Kate
Adapted from Cookie and Kate
sly rooster http://slyrooster.com/