As a friend of mine says, "chili is one of those things that you can add to/take away from and still have one good meal." That being said, use this as a base recipe and have fun changing up the veggies and cleaning out your fridge and pantry! My friend got this recipe from Dr. Schmittmann, the smartest woman she knows who actually has her PhD in theortical physics. This dish can stand on it's own, but you may enjoy serving with a baked potato or cornbread. A funny story about this recipe is the first time I made it for my husband he said, "I thought you told me this was vegetarian." Even after I told him it was, he still insisted there was meat in it. My friend and I got a big kick out of that!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green pepper, diced
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon rosemary
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon tarragon
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 1⁄2 tablespoons chili powder (use more or less depending on how spicy you like it)
- 1 1⁄2 tablespoons brown sugar (balances acidity of tomatoes) (optional)
- 2 (15 ounce) cans diced tomatoes (with liquid!)
- 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans
- 1 (15 ounce) can great northern beans (any type of beans work great try chickpeas or black beans)
- 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn
- 1 (6 ounce) can sliced mushrooms
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (for thickening) (optional)
- Prepare a large pot for sautéing by heating a small amount of oil (I use olive or canola oil) over medium to low heat.
- Begin to sauté the onion, garlic and fresh veggies and then add all the spices (dried or fresh if you have it). It should begin to smell really good at this point! (NOTE: The first time you make this, you may want to start with only 1 tbsp of chili powder and then add more to taste later while simmering).
- When the onion is starting to get a little caramelized, add brown sugar (opt), diced tomatoes with liquid and drained cans of beans, corn and mushrooms (or other canned veggies of choice) and simmer for 10 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Then add tomato paste to thicken (optional) and simmer another 20 minutes covering and lowering the heat once it has reached desired thickness (I cover for the last 10 minutes). Your whole house will smell wonderful when it is done!