For a majority of my life, vegetarian chili has always meant one thing to me: a bunch of beans with some spices cooked in water. Every vegetarian chili I had eaten had been variations on that theme.
At my annual chili cookoff, my world was rocked. I was overwhelmed with a plethora of kick-ass vegetarian chili. More than just beans and water, that is for damn sure. The winner of the event was made by my friend Andra, and she made a hearty chili made richer with the addition of soy chorizo.
I had to get my hands on a recipe that made me actually want to eat vegetarian, so here it is. The recipe and heaps of food porn and tips after the jump.
There are several tips I grabbed from Andra’s chili recipe that make it great:
*use a flavorful liquid, including a good beer.
*soy chorizo creates a meaty base that even meat lovers will mow down.
*swap green onions in for traditional yellow onions for even more flavor.
*Stir in cheese at the end before serving to give the chili even more depth.
Vegetarian Chili a la Andra (with a few changes from me)
- 3 tbls vegetable oil
- 6 green onions chopped (including green part)
- 1 green bell pepper cored and chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup butternut squash, peeled & chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen corn
- 1-12oz bottle of dark lager beer
- 1-12oz package of Soy chorizo
- 1-16 oz. can chili beans (include the liquid)
- 1-16oz cans black beans (include the liquid)
- 1-16oz can of garbanzo beans (include the liquid)
- 2 cups 100% vegetable juice (such as V8)
- 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/2-1 tsp of chili powder (depends on how spicy your like your chili)
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- 2 cups extra sharp cheddar cheese
- Using a 5 quart heavy bottomed pan or dutch oven, add the vegetable oil and heat on medium heat for 2 min. Add the green onion, bell peppers and chili powder and cook until soft.
- Turn heat up to high and add beer. Cook until boiling. Add the soy chorizo and cook for approximately 3 min.
- Add the chili, kidney, garbanzo beans, the squash and vegetable juice. Turn heat to medium and let the mixture simmer slowly for 45 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in the corn and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add salt and Pepper to taste. Stir in cheddar cheese until fully melted and mixed with the bean mixture. Number of servings (yield): 8