Monday, January 10, 2011

Vegetarian Chili

Yesterday was cold. Cloudy and cold and snowing on and off, but not sticking. We had some friends stopping by for tea, and I thought, Hey, if I'm stuck inside all day, I may as well have a project going.
So to the store I went for canned beans and carrots and scallions. (I know I am an avid supporter of dried beans, but we had just gotten back from the Bay Area and our supplies are low.)

This chili is one of the easiest things to make, especially if you have the staples lying around somewhere. We ate it served on top of creamy polenta, but you could have it over rice, egg noodles, or just plain. Or with cornbread (which was our second choice after polenta). Throw all the ingredients in the pot in no specific order (although the order in which the following ingredients are listed is a good order to go in!), and let it simmer away until it thickens up. We didn't even add any water or stock--the only liquid is from the tomatoes and bean liquid. And this chili flavor was very chilily!

2 T olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 c diced carrots
1 1/2 T chili powder (we used a mix of 2)
1 T cumin
1 dried chipotle pepper, whole (or a can of adobo chiles)
2 dried anaheim peppers (or just a couple t's of crushed red pepper)
32 oz canned tomatoes (we used the ones we put up this summer, but store-bought is fine)
1 can each of black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans
salt to taste
white pepper to taste

Saute onions, garlic, carrots, and spices in olive oil. Add beans and tomatoes. Season to taste. Boil and then reduce to simmer, cooking for about 45 min, or until it reaches desired consistency. Serve with chives or cheddar cheese or sour cream (or all three!).

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