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I love soups, stews and chilies (side note: I know the word “chilies” looks weird but apparently there are 4 different ways to write the plural of “chili” and none of them looked right to me – but there it is).  I am known to throw random stuff in a pot and make up a soup on the fly – it’s sort of a “thing” of mine.  Anyway, most of my friends have had my regular chili recipe which includes meat.  It’s my great grandmother’s recipe and it’s divine.  But I try to limit my meat consumption so I made this one up a few years ago.  It’s killer and SO easy to make.  And it’s gluten free and vegan and dairy free and all of that good stuff. It’s real hearty and filling.  I serve it with corn chips and a little (vegan) sour cream.  Dress it up however you like.  I also make nachos with the leftovers.  YUMMY!  

I totally thought I had posted this recipe already, but I found it in my folder of blog drafts.  Since football is here and we’ve got a little chill in the air, I thought it was the perfect time to post it!  Enjoy! 
  • about 1 bell pepper chopped (about a cup after you’ve chopped it)- i use green and yellow or red – do a combo of some sort but definitely include green (a poblano pepper would probably be good too)
  • 1 med sweet onion chopped (about a cup and a half)
  • about 3 cloves garlic, minced  – or about 2 teaspoons bottled minced garlic
  • 4 cans of beans – i usually do a combo of kidney, black and pinto – REMEMBER that canned kidney beans at the regular grocery store have high fructose corn syrup in them – the canned kidney beans at whole foods are the only ones that don’t.  I also am pretty sure that the Publix “Greenwise” brand doesn’t have sugar added but double check me on that. 
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes – again – i use diced and not stewed because stewed tomatoes have sugar added.  Make sure to get the plain diced tomatoes and not the ones with garlic or Italian seasoning added.  For this recipe I like to use one can of regular diced tomatoes and 1 can of petite diced tomatoes – the difference in size really makes a difference in the chili
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • a few dashes of ground red pepper – I like alot so I probably use about 1/2 teaspoon or so
  • salt and black pepper to taste. 
  • dried oregano – maybe 2 teaspoons – i don’t know cause I never measure anything when I make stuff up – the oregano is important – brings out flavors in mexican stuff.  don’t skip it even tho you’re not used to using it in chili. 
  • 1/4 teaspoon stevia or other sweetener – stevia is very concentrated so if using something else you will probably use much more
  • 1-2 teaspoons cocoa powder (optional)

1)  heat a dutch oven on medium, add a little olive oil and just saute the peppers, onions and garlic until tender. 
2)  drain and rinse beans and add them, then add the tomatoes with the juice
3)  add the seasonings and cocoa powder
4)  Stir well and bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer.
5)  Allow it to simmer for about 30 minutes – longer if you can – stirring occasionally.  As it cooks make sure to taste and re-season as needed.  

As with most soups, the longer you allow it to cook, the better it will be!

I use stevia to sweeten but you can use whatever you want.  Just add a little at a time til it’s sweet enough.  Not too sweet but you want to be able to taste it.  And as for the seasonings, I’m a big fan of cumin but you may not like that much – or you may want to add more chili powder – just play with it!