When it comes to chili, I am a man with opinions. I had my first awakening in college with the kind of strict, fundamentalist Texas chili that eschews both beans and tomatoes. For years I just assumed that was the final word on the subject, and I annoyed friends and relatives if any chili didn't meet those specifications. Luckily, I've lightened up over the years, and have come to even appreciate the Cincinnati-style chili that I grew up on. But vegetarian chili? Can such a thing even exist?
After an epic Thanksgiving week, I was looking for a meat -free meal that could still stand up to the cold weather. I was drawn to this recipe from The Amateur Gourmet. No, this isn't quite the same thing as my beloved Texas chili, but it is feisty and surprisingly filling for a recipe that doesn't contain any meat. The bulk of each bite comes from beans and bell peppers, while a dose of chipotle gives it a smoky edge. The best part is that it all comes together in about 45 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped
- 1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and diced
- 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
- 1 (12-ounce) bottle porter or amber ale
- 2 (15-ounce) cans red kidney beans
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 chipotle chilies in adobo, chopped (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1 scallion, ends trimmed, thinly sliced
- sour cream
Pour oil into large dutch oven. Turn heat to medium and add onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until onions are soft but not brown, about 5 minutes.
Add whole can tomatoes with their juice, beer, beans, white wine vinegar, garlic, coriander, cumin, and chipotle chilies in adobo. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes or so. Using wooden spoon, break up tomatoes into small chunks. Season with salt to taste.
Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with scallions and sour cream.