Vegetarian Chili
Serves: 6-8
You can use canned corn if you'd like, but I prefer grilling fresh corn and roasting it briefly in a hot oven first. It gives the kernels that wonderful fire-roasted taste that adds so much to this chili. Here is how I proceed: Place non-stick grill pan on the stove on high heat and when very hot, drizzle with a little olive oil (no more that 1 Tbsp). Place the ears of corn on the hot grill pan and grill them for 10-12 minutes, turning each over every 2-3minutes so they are a little browned. Place the grilled corn on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven (400) for 10-12 more minutes. Let it cool, and using a sharp knife, cut the kernels (see photo at the bottom) right onto the baking sheet.
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 1½ tsp ground thyme
  • ½ tsp ground chipotle powder
  • ⅛ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 (28oz) can crushed tomatoes (no added oil or sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bottle (12oz) of dark beer of your choice
  • 3 large (l lb -13 oz) cans organic small red beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 1 large (1 lb- 13 oz) can organic black beans, rinsed well and drained
  • 4 fresh ears of corn, husked
  • 2-3 Tbsp stone ground corn meal (depending on how thick you like it)
  1. Heat oil in a large cast iron dutch oven (I like Le Creuset but any heavy bottom deep pan will do) over high heat, add the garlic and onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
  2. Add the chili powder, ground cumin, thyme, chipotle, smoked paprika, salt and bay leaves and continue to sauté over medium heat for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add canned ground tomatoes, tomato paste,water, beer and bring to a boil, reduce heat and continue to simmer for just a few minutes.
  4. Add the drained beans to the pot and stir gently.
  5. Continue to simmer covered for another 25-30 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, grill your corn, if using fresh ears of corn as instructed above.
  7. Add the corn kernels to the chili (you can also use 1½ cups canned corn, drained--no added sugar or salt).
  8. Add the stone ground corn meal, one tablespoon at a time, stirring in between each addition so it doesn't clump and you achieve the thickness you like.
  9. Turn off the heat and keep covered until ready to serve.
  10. If you'd like it a little creamier, you can take out some of the beans to grind them briefly in a food processor and put them back into the soup or better yet, you can use a stick hand blender to blend the soup to desired creaminess right in the pot (see below).
  11. I like to let my chili “sit” before I serve it so that all the flavors blend even more together and the texture is nice and thick.
Recipe by Cuisinicity at