It is going to be a high of 34 degrees today. Yep, that is the high! Knowing this ahead of time did bad things to my motivation when getting out of a warm bed this morning. My chili is just the thing for a frigid day and pairs nicely with the cornbread recipe I posted yesterday.
Often I use bulgur or veggie crumbles to bulk up the substance of a vegetarian chili. The secret ingredient to giving this one a thick texture is the addition of refried beans. Note – In my recent chili creation I used some beans I had cooked previously and frozen. For convenience since everyone doesn’t have time to cook up 3 different kinds of beans or have them lingering in their freezer, I’m writing my recipe for 15 oz cans (1 can rinsed = 2 cups of cooked beans) The vegetables used are suggestions. I happened to have them all available in my fridge and freezer but the amount is somewhat flexible and will still create a great bowl.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Large onion or 2 small onions chopped
2 carrots diced
2 stalks of celery diced
1 bell pepper
2 small/medium zucchini
4 cloves of garlic
3 tsp. of cumin
1 Tablespoon Basil
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp-Tablespoon of salt (depending on amount in tomatoes and beans).
1 can kidney beans
1 can refried beans (mine were pinto w/ chilies)
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn
1 small can tomato paste
1 quart of tomatoes (28 oz can of whole, stewed or diced works)
1.5 to 2 cups Water
grated cheese for top (cheddar and pepper jack work really well)
Heat olive oil in stock pot
Saute onion for a minute or two then add carrot, celery, pepper. Saute for about 5 minutes then add garlic and seasonings. Stir for a minute or two until vegetables are coated and spices are fragrant. Add beans, tomatoes and water (adjust water per desired thickness). Simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Add frozen corn and zucchini and simmer another 10-15 minutes. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve piping hot topped with grated cheese of your choice.