There's a chill setting in Seattle, and the rainy days are upon us. This means Autumn is setting in. That said, I love making all sorts of stews and soups during the fall. I wanted to share my vegetarian chili with you (and also vegan!) to help you and your family stay warm and cozy this fall. Enjoy!
I wanted to take my normal Chili and take it up a notch, packing it full of vegetables and flavor. It's filled with your typical chili aromatics, and a few unexpected others like carrot and celery. It has a variety of beans, seasonings, and red wine vinegar to brighten the entire dish. I used my Chili Seasoning for this recipe.
When I cook stews and soups (and pretty much anything, really), I like to prep all of my ingredients, even down to the seasonings and have them already measured and laid out so I can seamlessly prepare whatever dish I'm making.
To start, I went ahead and chopped all of my aromatic vegetables (except the garlic) and put them together because these will all cook together initially.
Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil into your dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add your carrot, bell peppers, onion, celery, and jalapeno. Add a dash of salt to help draw out the moisture and lock in the flavor of the vegetables. Saute, stirring frequently for about seven minutes. After the vegetables become soft, and the red onion begins to lose it's color, add your chili seasoning (You can use my chili seasoning recipe, Click Here) and the minced garlic and stir frequently until the spices become aromatic, about 1-2 minutes.
After the seasoning and spices have become aromatic, add your drained (un-rinsed) beans, the can of tomatoes (with the liquid), and your vegetable broth. Lightly stir the chili, careful not to break up the beans. Top with two bay leaves. When the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally.
After the chili has simmered for 45 minutes, taste test for salt and seasoning. Add more salt if you'd like. Then, using a potato masher, mash the chili several times to break up some of the beans and vegetables. This will help the chili thicken some. Don't mash too much. You don't want it pureed. Just a 5-7 smashes would be good.
Notice between the two images how mashing it made the chili thicker, but there is still plenty of texture? After you mashed the chili, allow it to lightly simmer another five minutes. Next, remove the dutch oven from the heat and add 3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro, and 2 tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar. This vinegar and cilantro stirred into the chili really helps to raise up the flavors and enhance the chili to it's awesomeness.
I like to top my chili with fresh jalapenos, a dollop of Salsa Verde, fresh cilantro, and sliced avocado. But you can go your own way at this point. Top it however your heart desires.
Let me know if you made this and what you think!
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Red Onion, Chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, Chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, Chopped
2 Jalapenos (1 for the chili, 1 for garnish)
2 Medium Carrots, Chopped
2 Celery Ribs, Chopped
1 teaspoon of salt.
1 tablespoon of minced garlic (or 4 minced cloves)
3 1/2 Tablespoons of Chili Seasoning
1 28oz. can of diced tomatoes, un-drained
1 Can (15 oz.) Black Beans, drained
1 Can (15 oz.) Red Kidney Beans, drained
1 Can (15 oz.) Pinto Beans, drained
2 cups of Vegetable broth
2 Bay Leaves
3 Tablespoons chopped cilantro (more for garnish)
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
1. Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven. Add the chopped onion, bell peppers, carrots, celery, and about a teaspoon of salt. Saute, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft, and the red onion has lost it's color. About 7 minutes.
2. Add the chili seasoning and garlic and cook until aromatic, about a minute.
3. Add the beans (drained, but un-rinsed), the can of tomatoes (with liquid), and vegetable broth. Stir lightly to combine. Add two bay leaves on top of the chili. After the chili comes to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
4. After the chili has simmered, using a potato masher, mash the chili 5-7 times to break up some of the beans and vegetables to thicken the chili. Careful not to mash too much. You want texture. You're just thickening the chili.
5. Simmer the chili for 5 more minutes then remove from heat.
6. Stir in the cilantro and Red Wine Vinegar. Serve in bowls, and garnish. I like to garnish with a dollop of Salsa Verde, fresh cilantro, fresh jalapeno, and slice avocado.