Warm Up This Winter With My Smokey Veggie Chili!

Word has it its been a frigid winter (sorry East coasters!) We’ve been lucky in LA with temps in the 70s&80s but that hasn’t stopped me from making my famous smokey veggie chili. Its a highly requested dish over here. I encourage you to play with variations and amounts, though I find a good combo goes a little like this:

Smokey Veggie Chili (with or without beans)

2-3 large onions, dicedYellow, Purple, Sweet, Mixed, whatever you want

1/2 standard package of celery with leaves, diced

1/4 head white cabbage, chopped

3+ medium zucchinis, diced

3 carrots, diced

2 or 3 baked sweet potatoes or 1/4-1/2 baked butternut squash, skinned and cubed

1/4 bag ORGANIC charred/fire roasted corn, sink/colander thawed

3 scallions, diced on a bias, some reserved for garnish

1-2 bell peppers, diced or frozen tricolor peppers (I usually do tricolor fresh)

1 large store bought container fire roasted tomatoes (I like Muir Glen/Jovial/BioNaturae organic brands in GLASS jars)

1 full size tetra pak vegetable or chicken stock (I prefer homemade, or 365 WF’s brand/TJs Organic stocks)

1/4 small can of chipotle in adobo sauce, chopped (I prefer La Costena brand, use less if you can’t handle spice)

1/2 small can diced or similar size frozen green chilis (if you can handle more spice!)

liquid smoke

your favorite BBQ sauce (I like Bellas brand)

apple cider vinegar

EVOO or grapeseed oil

a few bay leaves

smoked paprika

sea salt & pepper to taste

Beans if you like: 1 tetra pak each black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, cannelloni beans etc, rinsed and strained

Optional: roasted garlic mixed in the broth for deep flavor, grated manchego/smoked gouda/jalapeno goat cheese or similar cheese garnish, avocado chunks as garnish

General Directions

Heat a large stockpot to medium and add your oil. Start off with your diced onions, salting, and stirring until almost caramelized. Add your celery/celery leaves, stirring for a few minutes. Every few minutes, add another vegetable and keep stirring: cabbage, zucchini, carrot, bell pepper, some scallions. Now add your liquids: your stock, the glass container of fire roasted tomatoes, filling that same glass up with filtered water and add that too if you need more liquid. A few dashes of BBQ sauce, a tablespoon or 2 of apple cider vinegar. Throw in the bay leaves, charred corn, chipotle, green chilies. Season to taste with smoked paprika, salt, and pepper. Add your rinsed beans, cooked sweet potato/squash and mix well. Cover and simmer for at least 20 minutes stirring occasionally. At the end, I like to add a few drops of liquid smoke (not too much!) Let cool, take out the bay leaves and serve garnished with scallions and a sprinkling of cheese. I like chunks of avocado in mine too!

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