Fall is definitely here and I, for one, am ready for it. Ready for some comfort food, ready for these cold sunny days, ready for a fire in the fireplace, ready for a warm bowl of chili...
Oh, look! A warm bowl of chili!
I warn you, this recipe makes enough for an army, or a freezer-full. But it's so good you'll be glad you've got extra on hand. Trust me. Start chopping.
Yeah, I should mention that this isn't a 'quick, it's 5 o'clock what are we having for dinner tonight' recipe (I mean, just look at that ingredient list!) No, this is a lovely vegetable-filled recipe that requires a bit of slicing and dicing. Nothing difficult or tricky, just chopping. Your efforts will be rewarded with layers of flavour and deliciousness.
It is known in our house as 'Kim and Larry's chili' because they are the friends who got us hooked. I'm not sure where they got this recipe, but I hope they don't mind me sharing...
serves at least 12
1 1/2 C dried beans (black, pinto, red, your choice)
4 C water
3/4 C bulgar
1 1/2 C boiling water
2 Tbs oil (or more if necessary)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 C celery, finely chopped
1 C carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4" coins
1 C squash, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" cubes (we use butternut squash)
1 C eggplant, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1 C mushrooms, halved or quartered
1 red pepper, cut into 1" squares
1 yellow pepper, cut into 1" squares
1 zucchini, cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1 1/2" cubes
1/2 teas Tabasco sauce
3 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs cumin
1/4 C (or 1 Tbs dried) each of fresh basic, dill, and oregano
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 teas dried red pepper flakes
2 28-oz cans tomatoes
3 C V-8 juice
2 oz tomato paste
1 C niblets corn
grated Monterey Jack cheese
First, bring beans to boil in water, then simmer until tenter. Strain, saving liquid. Also, soak bulgar for five minutes in boiling water, then set aside.
Saute vegetables (garlic, onion, celery, carrots, squash, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, zucchini, sweet potato) in oil for 15 minutes, stirring often. Add spices (Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, basil, dill, oregano, jalapeno, salt and pepper, red pepper flakes) to vegetable mixture, and saute 5 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, V-8 juice, tomato paste and beans. Add a tablespoon of the beans' cooking liquid, and add more to taste. Simmer, uncovered and stirring often, for 30 minutes. Add corn and soaked bulgar to the pot and cook until heated through.
Serve in bowls, topped with cheese.