I think Chili is my absolute favorite part of winter...even better than sweater socks.
I love all the colors and flavors of chili, the amount of ingredients make it look intimidating but chili is one of the easiest soups to make. Chili is basically a bunch of beans, veggies and spices tossed in some diced tomatoes and simmered, easy enough right? Because chili is such a hearty soup it is always satisfying and it never disappoints.
The key to a good chili is a variety of spices.
Spices I used in Devil's Chili:
Ground Black Pepper
On top of the spices I added even more flavor with garlic and onions.
Although chili is hearty it is never complete without, of course, toppings.
Devil's Vegetarian Chili
1 TBSP Olive Oil
½ Medium Onion, chopped
3-4 Bay Leaves
1 Stalk Celery, chopped
½ Bell Pepper, chopped (I used red but I prefer green)
1-3 TBSP Canned Jalapeno Peppers (depending on how spicy you like your chili)
3 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 TSP of cumin, paprika, ground black pepper, cayenne, sea salt and oregano
2 TBSP Chili Powder (or more)
1 28 Ounce can of diced tomatoes
4-6 dahses of Louisiana Hot Sauce
1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup cooked kidney beans
1. Heat olive oil in large pot. Add onions and bay leaves and cook until onion is tender.
2. Add celery, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, garlic and spices (excluding chili powder) and cook until veggies are heated through.
3. Add diced tomatoes and juices, chili powder, and Louisiana hot sauce to the pot. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
4. Add beans, taste test. Add spices to adjust taste to your liking. (All the amounts of spices are approximate, I start with these amounts and then adjust as I go, every pot of chili is different!)
5. Cover the pot of chili and let it simmer (DO NOT boil, you will boil the taste out!) for 5-20 minutes.
6. Serve immediately with desired toppings. (Cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips, and avocado are my favorite chili toppings).
Enjoyed thoroughly in front of my Oncoming Winter Display.
So far we've discussed how spices, strong flavors, and toppings make the perfect bowl of chili. The final touch? A big hearty chunk of whole wheat bread.
What can I say? Oh yes, perfection.
When the first signs winter start showing I immediately get excited to make the first pot of chili of the year. While cooking it up I envision cozy nights in front of the fireplace, twinkling Christmas tree lights, and the beautiful sight of a fresh snowfall.
Don't worry, in about a month reality will hit and the cheese factor of my posts will go down.
Winter in Minnesota does include all those warm fuzzy images but only about 10%of the time. The reality of winter while attending college consists of trudging to class through slushy snow hiding a sleek layer of black ice beneath it. While your face is being assaulted snow that has turned into ice pellets because the wind is so fierce. This whole horrendous scene usually ends in me slipping and landing on my butt in a pile of slush.
Those are the days when chili is essential to my survival.
What is your favorite and least favorite part of winter?