Don't get me wrong, I LOVE making a big ol' pot of meaty chili and letting it slowly simmer together. However, it's not always practical to pull one together from thin air. For instance, you may not always have fresh beef or its defrosted alternative ready to go at a moments notice. This vegetarian chili can be thrown together from stuff that can be kept in your cabinets indefinitely (almost), takes about half as much time from start to finish, and tastes pretty darn good if you ask me.
This chili is also pretty open to interpretation. You don't need to add the carrots if you don't have any. I had the better part of a bag of baby carrots in the fridge, so they got diced up and thrown into the pot. You don't like kidney beans? Don't add them. Replace them with more pinto beans, or try some black beans for something different. This recipe is guaranteed to give you leftovers if you're serving two, like me, but if you want to polish this off in one night, cut the quantities in half.
Weeknight Vegetarian Chili
about 1 Tbsp minced garlic
2 yellow onions, diced
about a cup of carrots, diced (optional)
one large bell pepper, diced (or two small ones)
1 28oz can of diced tomatoes and their juices
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder (less if you like it less spicy, more if you want to burn your socks off)
2 14oz cans of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 14oz cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
salt & pepper
Heat some olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and stir fry for about 30 seconds, then add the onions, peppers, and carrots. Cook for about 10 minutes, until soft (probably more time with the carrots, less without). Add the cumin, chili powder, and a little salt and pepper, stirring to coat all of the veggies. Cook for a few moments further.
Add the beans and the can of tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.