Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Vegetarian Chili

Because a mild "vegetarian chili" sounds a lot fancier than a bean soup so I can lighten the load of cans in my kitchen cabinet.

Last year, I discovered Von's Stompin' Steakhouse chili. It was, by far, the best chili I've ever had. So of course, I set out to make it myself during a rousing football season. Many batches later, I sort of gave up. Not that we didn't have good chili during that time. It just wasn't the same.

Anyway, the news is out: we're moving in just a couple of weeks. I've been cooking at home a lot more in the past week or two so our move is a little lighter, at least in that respect. And between the chili experimentation phase and the Mexican-food-fiesta, I've kept a lot of beans around for just such an occasion (these will make a debut sometime, no doubt).

It sure would be nice if I shared the recipe for such a fantastic soup, wouldn't it? I didn't even think to look one up. So I'll just credit all of the random chili recipes I attempted last fall.

Vegetarian Chili/Bean Soup/Get it out of your kitchen stew:

  • 1.5-2 cups Chicken broth (Oh shoot! That's not vegetarian! No worries, veggie broth would work.)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • onion
  • garlic
  • chili powder
  • cumin
  • salt
Cook the garlic, onion, and spices in about a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the bottom of your biggest pot. All the fancy recipes I've seen say to do this because it releases the flavors. Ergo, my recipe is now fancy.

At this point, you can start dumping. I drain and rinse my beans because the water they're canned in seems sort of gnarly. After 30 minutes of low boiling, you'll get this tasty soup:

Of course, it's summertime and it's hot, so a soup isn't as appetizing as, say, chopped melon. But once the temperatures cool down, you'll want to be making this. It makes a large quantity in a very short amount of time. And if you play your cards right, it shouldn't be too expensive all-told.

And it's suspiciously like Von's chili....

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