Growing up I was never allowed to help make chilli with my father, unlike the spaghetti sauce where my job was to stir. Some how chilli required a great deal more secrecy. I never was sure why, perhaps it was simply the fact that as a child, if I knew what went in I was not likely going to eat it. I didn’t enjoy it that much to begin with, but jumped at any chance to cook even if it was something I did t like to eat.
I never did acquire his recipe – which was a blessing really… I learned many new and much better tasting methods to create chilli. Turkey, beef, even bear…and my personal favourite by far is Mexican mole – I love the hint of cocoa.
This particular chilli was featured on Cookie + Kate. It makes a lovely Daniel past friendly vegan chilli. It can feed a crowd, or a few hungry boys or be frozen in small Individual batches for lunches. As with all chillies it tastes even better the next day.
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- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 large can diced tomatoes with their juices
- 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can pinto or Romano beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
- 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice, to taste
- Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, cooked rice or quinoa etc.
- 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 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 flavor, transfer 1 ½ 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 an immersion blender, or mash the chili with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker, more chili-like consistency.)
- Add the chopped cilantro, stir to combine, and then mix in the vinegar, to taste. Add salt to taste, too—I added ¼ teaspoon more at this point. Divide the mixture into individual bowls and serve with garnishes of your choice. This chili will keep well in the refrigerator for about 4 days or you can freeze it for longer-term storage.