Spicy Vegetarian Chili for the Super Bowl

Under an earlier post on the best chili in town, Mary Roby offered to share her spicy vegetarian chili recipe if folks were interested. I told her I would publish it if she sent me a photo of the chili as well.

Here it is, just in time for the Super Bowl. Although I'm going to hear it from the Real Men who don't think vegetarian chili is an appropriate dish for the most important Sunday of the year.

The recipe is from Bon Appetit magazine. ...

Spicy Vegetable Chili

¼ cup bulgur
2 ½ cups boiling water (or more)

¼ cup olive oil
2 small or 1 large onion, finely chopped
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped carrots
1 ½ tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 ½ tablespoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ cup dry white wine (can omit or use vegetable broth)
2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
2 zucchini, chopped or 1 green pepper, chopped
½ cup canned chopped tomatoes

1 can of all one kind or 1 can mixed canned, drained beans
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons, dried
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon, dried

Place bulgur in medium bowl.  Pour ½ cup boiling water over.  Cover and let stand until softened, about 15 minutes.

Heat the oil in a heavy large saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onions, celery, carrots, and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.  Add tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper, and stir until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add wine (or broth) and 2 cups water.  Bring to boil.  Add bell pepper, zucchini, and tomatoes to saucepan.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until all vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.

Add bulgur and beans, basil and oregano to chili.  Simmer until chili is thick, stirring frequently, about 20 minutes.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Can be prepared one day ahead.  Cover and refrigerate.  Bring to a simmer before serving, thinning with more water if chili is too dry.)

Other vegetables, like frozen corn, can be added for variety.  Additional tomato paste can be used if not using canned chopped tomatoes.

Note: The proportions don’t seem to matter too much once you have started with the onions, carrots, and celery base.  I usually use more beans and a whole can of tomato paste and a whole can of tomatoes.  Adjust spices to taste.

This recipe appeared in Bon Appetit, Sept. 1996.

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