We’re straddling the delicious gap between summer and fall – in California at least. It’s 80 degrees today! I love this time of year because we get to enjoy the best of both worlds. The days are still warm, but the nights are cool and crisp. Farmers’ markets start winding down this month in many parts of the country, giving us only a couple of more weeks to enjoy local produce. As we embrace the change in seasons, it’s time to make a big pot of hearty vegetable chili.
I’ve got a major thing for chili. I grew up on my grandma’s chili – the smell of it simmering on the stove is the thing I remember most about her house. She always had a bowl of oyster crackers on the table for adding some crunch, too. If you’re a crackers-in-your-soup kind of person, I encourage you to add them to this chili. They taste so good after they’ve soaked up the flavorful, spicy broth.
This hearty vegetable chili is a great way to use up leftover veggies from the farmers’ market. Of course, if you’re making this chili in February, using local veggies will be challenging. In winter and spring, you can use frozen corn and canned tomatoes to make this dish and thaw your frosty taste buds. It’s a great reminder that warmer weather is on the way.
You can use any type of bean you like in this hearty vegetable chili, but I chose pinto and kidney beans. I recently got into pinto beans and I absolutely love them. They add a nice creaminess to soup, stew, and chili. Black beans would also make a great addition. One bowl of this hearty vegetable chili has a whopping 20 grams of protein, making it a perfect lunch that will tide you over until dinner.
Our hearty vegetable chili is warm, comforting, and the perfect transition dish into fall. Serve each bowl with a dollop of vegan sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh basil for the full effect.Print
Our hearty vegetable chili is warm, comforting, and the perfect transition dish into fall. Serve each bowl with a dollop of vegan sour cream and a sprinkle of fresh basil for the full effect.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- ½ red onion, diced (about 1 cup)
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1½ Tbsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2 ears of corn, cut off the cob (about 1 cup)
- 4 medium-sized tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 2 15-oz. cans diced tomatoes)
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 1 16-oz. can low-sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 16-oz. can low-sodium kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1½ cups of water
- 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
- Fresh basil
- Vegan sour cream (or plain non-dairy yogurt)
- Warm the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic along with the salt, chili powder, and cumin. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.
- Add the corn, tomatoes, zucchini, pinto beans, kidney beans, water, and tomato paste to the pot and stir. Turn your stove to medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until the chili has thickened and reached your desired consistency. Taste and season with additional salt (I used another ½ teaspoon).
- Turn off the stove; squeeze the lime juice into the chili and stir. Ladle the chili into bowls and garnish with fresh basil and vegan sour cream, if desired.
Nutrition information does not include vegan sour cream or basil.