Even though it’s hot enough to melt the shoes right off my feet, I still love the ease and simplicity of a good soup, stew or chili. Normally these are Fall and Winter fare, but just because the seasons have changed, doesn’t mean we can’t use something that can stretch a little over a busy work week. Behold, a delicious vegetarian chili that is really easy, perfectly easy to enjoy (cuz it’s delish), and super easy to make an extra large batch if you have a bigger family. Mine is small, so one regular recipe will keep hubby and I for at least two nights and maybe even lunch for me once or twice. If that’s not a cooking win, I dunno what is.
This is one of those recipes where, once you’ve chopped all there is to chop, it’s easy breezy beautifulness from there on out. A little sauteing of the veggies, the dumping into the pot of some other ingredients, a little more heat and the soup is on its way.
Aaaand here’s a few of the things you must chop. Lots of red onion, plenty of awesomesauce knownn as portabellos, and some nice smokiness from a poblano pepper.
A word of warning though: if you have some, wear gloves while chopping the poblano pepper. I’m not the expert on poblano peppers and allergies to them, but sis blogging partner chopped the pepper that went into this one, washed her hands later and rubbed above her eye after that. Within minutes the skin above that eye was hot, painful and swollen (imagine the trouble she’d have been in had it been IN her eye). Applying ice to it helped calm it down eventually, but this was a little alarming at first. If you think you may have a skin sensitivity to spicy peppers, just proceed with caution. Simply washing your hands after handling one may not get all the pepper off your hands. As for flavor, it wasn’t spicy at all in the chili since she removed all ribs and seeds.
The beginning to this absolutely delicious chili is to saute the red onions with the spices, chili powder and cumin. We did amp up the spices later, so have enough on hand to adjust them to your taste.
From there the rest of the chopped veggies get their turn in the heat. You’re only cooking them enough to just soften. Depending on your pot used, amount of veggies, etc., you may need to cook them slightly longer than the directions say to, but not much. I maybe cooked these about 5-8 minutes longer. Not too shabby.
After the veggies saute and the beans and tomatoes are thrown in, the chili simmers down and thickens for about 20-30 minutes. It’s already been smelling insanely good. You can tell how good a recipe’s going to be by how many times family members pop in to comment on how good it’s smelling. Hubby was practically living in the kitchen.
I just love easy food that tastes like it took hours to make. This is a really, really great chili recipe and I love the fact that meat doesn’t figure in. The portabellos don’t even feel like a meat sub to me, just a really great, unique addition that makes this chili so good. I’ve made it once more since this initial tasting and can’t sing its praises enough. Enjoy!
Summer Vegetable Chili
from Food Network Magazine, June 2013
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 – 30 minutes Level: easy Serves: 4-6
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and diced
- 2 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
- 2 cups frozen corn (preferably fire-roasted), thawed
- 2 14-ounce cans no-salt-added pinto beans
- 1 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream and/or torn fresh cilantro, for topping (optional)
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add all but a few tablespoons of the chopped red onion. Stir in the garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the poblano, mushrooms and corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 more minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes, 1 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then stir and reduce the heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the chili is thick, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the chili among bowls. Top with the cheese, sour cream and/or cilantro; sprinkle with the reserved red onion. Serve with the tortillas.
As noted above, adjust the chili powder, cumin and salt to your taste. A reviewer on Food Network thought it was bland and we agreed that, as is, the spices were too little. Season a little here and there as the chili cooks to get it right for you.
I, err, did slip in some Italian sausage I needed to use up the second time I made this and loved the additional flavor it brought to the chili, but this really is so good without any meat at all. Either way, happy bellies are on their way.
If you opt to remove all the ribs and seeds from your poblano, but you still want a little heat, a pinch of red pepper flakes did really well the second time I made this. Just enough heat. I tend not to want the heat from a poblano; I prefer their wonderful flavor to come through. Either way, whichever works for you.