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Chili

December 01, 2018

[Recipe makes roughly 6 servings, or 9-3/4 cups].

October and November are the months where we start to enjoy soup again on crisp days, and December is when chili makes its debut.  Chili is the ultimate comfort dish in the winter, and we decided it was time that we came up with our own version.  Although many of the ingredients are fairly standard, we ended up incorporating chocolate and liquid smoke to give the dish its own identity.  Similar to other recipes we've posted, we ended up blending up some of the chili to give it a nice thickness and creaminess.

As we mention in the directions, we recommend making this the day before you want to enjoy it to really let the chili come together; but if needed, it's okay to serve immediately as well.


INGREDIENTS:

Cashew sour cream

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, diced
1 red onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, minced (optional)

2 teaspoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes
4 cups water
1 tablespoon Better Than Bouillon No Beef Base
1 tablespoon ketchup
(up to) 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
3 tablespoons dairy-free chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke

DIRECTIONS:

Before you start, prepare your cashew sour cream.  Cool in the refrigerator and proceed with the chili.

Heat a Dutch oven (or large heavy-bottomed pot) over medium heat.  Add the oil followed by the celery, onion, bell pepper, and jalapeno (if using).  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add the minced garlic, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, and garlic powder.  Cook for one minute.  [Side note:  If the spices start to stick to the pan, add a tablespoon or two of water to deglaze the pan and prevent burning].  Add the tomato paste and cook for an additional minute.  Add the diced tomatoes, water, "beef" base, ketchup, and salt.  Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.  Cover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring every so often.  After 30 minutes, add the canned beans and cook for an additional 30 minutes.  Lastly, add the chocolate chips and liquid smoke.

Transfer 1 cup of the chili to a small blender or NutriBullet.  Process until smooth, and stir it back into the rest of the chili.  Taste to season.

Although the chili can be served at this point, we recommend cooling it overnight, and serving it the next day.  This way the flavors are given some time to meld together.  Top with a dollop of cashew sour cream, scallions, and a side of Fritos Scoops for dipping!

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