Food & Drink

A Fall Vegetable Chili Recipe

I love to cook in the fall, particularly because of all of the delicious, hearty, and healthful soups that it’s finally cold enough to enjoy. I especially like a good vegetarian chili. Not only is chili easy to make but it’s loaded with nourishing vitamins, protein, and antioxidants that the body needs this time of year. My go-to recipe is this vegan take on the classic stew, made with fresh beans, winter vegetables, and warming spices. My son Tanner and I recently made it during our fall catalogue shoot on Pata Ranch, a family-run farm in Santa Ynez, using beans grown directly on the farm. While canned beans will always work, dry beans tend to have a better texture and less sodium, among other things. Once the chili is ready, top it off with anything from fresh avocado and lime wedges to Greek yogurt for a simple lunch or family dinner. XXJKE 

Photo: Lauren Ross 

Recipe

Vegetable Chili By Pamela Salzman

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Units:
  • Course: Sides, Mains

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil unrefined, cold pressed, extra virgin
  • 1 onion large, finely chopped
  • 2 carrot medium
  • 1 bell pepper sweet, diced
  • 1/2 jalapeno seeded* and minced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 bunch Swiss chard stems removed and chopped and leaves cut into 1- inch pieces (5 cups)
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano dried
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tomato crushed, 26-ounce box or 1 can (28 oz) whole plum tomatoes crushed with juice or 2 lbs. fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 cup 1183 ml beans cooked, such as red kidney, black or pinto – all of the same or mix and match (or 3 cans (15 ounces each)), drained and rinsed
  • 2 1/2 cup 591 ml water
  • 2-3 tsp salt sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper black, freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cilantro chopped fresh, plus extra for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add carrots, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, garlic and chard stems, and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add oregano, cumin, chili powder and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, bay leaf, beans, water and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low and simmer, covered for 1 hour.

Discard bay leaf. Add Swiss chard leaves and cook, uncovered until mixture has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Stir in chopped cilantro. If serving with cooked rice or quinoa, dollop a scoop of grains into each serving bowl and ladle chili on top. Garnish as desired.