Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Best Vegetarian Chili I’ve Ever Had

Chili.  It’s what’s been on my mind all winter and have been wanting to make the perfect chili.  I’d tried making recipes before but none seemed to satisfy my idea of chili.  And then, this weekend, I found it.

This is by far the best vegetarian chili I’ve ever eaten.  If you get a chance, you’ve GOT to try this out – paired especially with warm garlic Naan bread (I like Trader Joe’s garlic Naan – found in the frozen section).  It’s absolutely magical.  MigL and I split the last (and only) piece of Naan bread.  We definitely wished we had more. 

Last night I also tried making Giada de Laurentiis’ Herbed Flatbread.  I didn’t care for this, even though I thought it might pair well with the chili.  Perhaps the flatbread will suit your taste buds.

Get ready for a slightly spicy, meat-free, optional, veggie-filled soup that will satisfy your soul and make your cold-filled evening something to talk about. 

Grilled cheese & sun dried tomato pesto panini

Vegetarian Chili
(courtesy of CHOW)


1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, medium dice
1 carrot, medium dice
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 bell pepper, medium dice
1 zucchini, medium dice
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. chili powder
2 (15-oz.) cans light kidney, dark kidney, or black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 (28 oz.) canned chopped tomatoes
Chopped cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Quartered lime pieces, for garnish (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese or crumbled queso fresco, for garnish (optional)
Sour cream, for garnish (optional)


Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot with a tightfitting lid or a Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add the onions, carrots, and garlic and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and zucchini to the pot and season with salt and pepper.  Add the cum and chili powder and stir to incorporate.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are knife tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the beans, water, and tomatoes with their juices and stir to combine.  Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer until the vegetables are soft and the flavors have melded, about 15 minutes.  Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.  Serve and garnish as desired.

Latin Cook’s Notes

I used fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies (unbeknownst to me, MigL had grabbed this kind of tomatoes at Trader Joe’s – he didn’t know I was planning on making chili and it was FANTASTIC).  I also made some black beans from scratch and used those instead of canned (in a large pot, cook raw black beans with 3 crushed garlic at medium high heat for about 1 hour to 1 hr., 10 min., stirring occasionally; make sure to add plenty of water, otherwise you’ll end up with burnt beans – trust me, I’d forgotten to add more water and got said burnt black beans.  It took forever to scrub the pot and dinner took approximately 3 hours because of this).  Top the chili with shredded Cheddar cheese.  Buen provecho!

1 comment:

WineCountryMom said...

Sounds delicious! I will have to try this one, I've been on the hunt for great veggie chili myself.

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