Best Veggie Chili

Best Veggie Chili

Preparing soups and stews throughout the autumn months is good therapy for me as the air gets crisp and the daylight wanes. That’s when I reach for my Crock-Pot. And one of my favorite comfort foods to slow cook is this three-bean chili.

This one is spicy, layered with deep, satisfying flavor and just enough heat. It’s probably even better the next day, but fantastic on day one for sure.

This chili can simmer unattended all day in a slow cooker, but also works well bubbling on the stove for about 90 minutes in the late afternoon.

You may notice a couple of surprising ingredients, including raisins. I first discovered raisins as an ingredient in a non-vegan recipe for “Mole Soup,” published in 2002 in Cooking Light magazine. I liked the idea even then, because the raisins virtually dissolve during the long simmering process, leaving behind just a hint of natural sweetness that help to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. The molasses and Dijon mustard were inspired by the “Three-Bean Chili” in Texas Firefighter Rip Esselstyn’s popular The Engine 2 Diet, and add contrast to the heat.

If you can’t find diced tomatoes with jalapeños, just substitute a second can of diced tomatoes, along with one fresh jalapeño, diced and seeded. If you prefer less heat, you probably already know that you may want to use less than an entire jalapeño.

This chili is great with warmed tortillas, or piled high over steaming baked potatoes. I also like to garnish with plenty of fresh cilantro and diced avocados. Recently, I served this over scoops of mashed potatoes and corn, and it was incredibly good. Use your imagination with your favorite toppings too.

BEST VEGGIE CHILI

1 large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with jalapeños
6-ounce can tomato paste
2 to 3 cups vegetable broth (slow cooker: use 2 cups / stovetop: use 3 cups)
1/4 cup raisins, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons molasses
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

Slow Cooker Instructions

Add onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper, and garlic to a large slow cooker. Add beans, tomato products, 2 cups of broth, and raisins. Mix well, and add seasonings (coriander through Worcestershire). Cover and cook on high setting for 5 or 6 hours, or low for 8 to 10 hours.

Remove bay leaves, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with any combination of fresh cilantro, diced avocados, corn, baked potatoes, or warm tortillas.

Stovetop Instructions

Add onion, celery, carrots, and bell pepper to large soup pot. On medium-high heat, pan sauté in a small amount of water until almost tender. Add the garlic, and sauté for 1 minute more.

Add beans, tomato products, 3 cups of broth, and raisins. Mix well, and add seasonings (coriander through Worcestershire). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to rolling simmer, cover and cook for 90 minutes.

Remove bay leaves, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with any combination of fresh cilantro, diced avocados, corn, baked potatoes, or warm tortillas.

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2 thoughts on “Best Veggie Chili

  1. Pingback: Easy Air-Fried Potatoes | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen

  2. Pingback: Homemade Corn Tortillas | Ann Arbor Vegan Kitchen

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