Here’s the good news though: at least in my opinion (and the opinion of those who’ve tried it), this chili is spicy in the best way. There is definitely some intense heat, but that’s followed up by a really, really good flavor. I swear it kind of has three totally different tastes. The initial blast of heat, the rich flavor after that and kind of a sweet aftertaste. Pretty impressive for a soup.
I snatched this recipe from Kathy Patalsky‘s way popular vegan blog, Healthy. Happy. Life. She created it for use in a chili cookoff, which is what I needed it for as well. I made a few small changes to the original recipe and I’ve included some important notes that I would definitely consider if you decide to give this a try – and you should! Who cares if it takes you all night to make it (it will!)? It freezes!
Oh, and in case you’re wondering, this was the only vegan entry in my office chili cookoff and it came in a very close third (out of 8 or 9 ish?). Not too shabby.
Spicy Vegan Chili
Recipe courtesy of Healthy. Happy. Life.
A) Roasted Veggie Tray
1 small poblano pepper, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 small jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed)
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 large carrot, diced
1 small tomato, diced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 red onion, diced (about 3/4 cups)
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 tbs apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp garlic powder
drizzle of agave syrup
B) Veggie/Protein Pot, then Roast
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tbs Earth Balance
2-3 tbs molasses
3 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
3/4 cup red onion, diced
2-3 Field Roast Chipotle Sausages, diced
1 1/4 cups celery, chopped
3/4 cups red bell pepper, diced
1/4 cup canned sweet corn, drained
2 tbs olive oil
1-2 canned chipotles in adobo
1-2 tsp adobo sauce from can
C) Tomato Base*
4 cups canned fire-roasted tomatoes
1 tsp salt
2 tbs chili powder (or to taste)
1 chipotle in adobo
2 tbs agave syrup
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 dark chocolate espresso squares
1 lime, squeezed and zested (about 2 tsp zest)
1 bay leaf (remove after simmering)
1 lbs kidney beans (dried)
1/2 lb pinto beans (dried)
7-15 cups water
8 cups veggie broth
1 tbs sea salt
-reserve 3+ cups of soaking liquid
*The ratio of tomato base to stuff here is a little on the dry side. Before I froze the leftovers, I made a 1/2 batch of additional base and added it to the remainder. It helped a lot. I think I’d go ahead and do this to start with next time. It’s a matter of taste, I suppose.
Note: I used fresh, organic ingredients wherever possible. Just, FYI.
- If possible, prepare chili one day ahead of time and reheat in oven or stove to get the best flavor
- Soak beans in the mixture of veg broth and salted water overnight (at least 12 hours) or fast-soak
- Drain beans, reserve 3 cups of soaking liquid
- Prep veggies for your entire recipe (chop, dice, peel, etc.)
- Arrange your roasting veggies (A) on a baking sheet and toss with seasoning ingredients. Roast in oven at 400°F until caramelized (about 30 min)
- Meanwhile, toss all your pot/roast veggies (B) into a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Cover with lid and allow to continue simmering on low for another 20 min. Finally, toss these veggies on a large baking sheet and roast for another 20 min.
- To a large pot, add the roasted veggies (A) and the soaked beans (D). You can also add about 1-2 cups reserved soaking liquid. How much you use depends on how tender your beans are at this point. If they’re still hard, you’ll need more liquid. Simmer this mixture on very low heat, covered.
- Meanwhile, in a sauce pot, add all the tomato base ingredients (C). Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat, uncovered at least 15 min.
- When the tomato base is reduced a bit, add it to your main chili pot with the veggies and the beans and add in your (B) mixture from the oven
- Stir well, cover and simmer on low for 1+ hours (the longer, the better – mine simmered for ~5 hours)
- Garnish and serve immediately or chill and reheat the next day
Yield: 3.5 quarts