Writing in the first half of December, life once again feels too unpredictable to hazard a guess as to how we may be feeling in January. But some things never change. We will feel the need for healthy food that keep us warm, and the planet will be still in need of our TLC. So as usual I shall mark January with a vegan recipe.
This vegetarian chili can be as simple or as impressive as you like, by offering toppings from the list of garnishes. Serve it with rice or a jacket potato. or make burritos by wrapping it in a tortilla with guacamole and salsa. It will taste even better the second day or keep some in the freezer for another occasion. It’s both vegan and gluten free if you choose the garnishes carefully.
Homemade Vegetarian Chili
Adapted from Cookie and Kate https://cookieandkate.com/vegetarian-chili-recipe/
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
4 to 6 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 large red pepper, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- chili powder to taste (start at a teaspoon if you are cautious!)
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 tins chopped tomatoes
- 2 tins black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tin pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable stock or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander, plus more for garnishing
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice, to taste
Garnishes: chopped coriander, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream or crème fraîche, grated cheddar cheese, etc.
- In a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, red pepper, carrot, celery and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
- 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. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes.
- Remove the chili from the heat and discard the bay leaf. For the best texture and flavour, transfer 1 1/2 cups of the chili to a blender, making sure to get some of the liquid portion. Securely fasten the lid and blend until smooth (watch out for hot steam), then pour the blended mixture back into the pot. (Or you can blend the chili briefly with a stick blender or mash the chili with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker, more chili-like consistency.)
- Add the chopped coriander, stir to combine, and then mix in the vinegar, to taste. Add salt to taste, too—I added 1/4 teaspoon more at this point. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice.