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One of my favorite dishes in the winter months is thick, spicy and hearty chili. In fact, Liz has a recipe that she has been tweaking and adjusting for over two decades, and it’s absolutely delicious. Now, if you were an absolute purest about chili, Liz’s chili would not technically qualify as chili due to the inclusion of beans. In fact, just in case you are curious, the following is the definition of “chili” for official chili competitions. “True chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat, or combination of meats, cooked with chili peppers, various other spices, and other ingredients with the exception of items such as beans or spaghetti which are strictly forbidden.” So needless to say the following recipe would not qualify. But it does hit the spot. Let’s get started!

Ingredients

1 yellow onion – chopped

1 large red pepper – chopped

3 carrots – peeled and chopped

2 stalks of celery – chopped

5 cloves of garlic – chopped or minced

2 1⁄2 teaspoons of ground cumin

2 tablespoons of chili powder

2 teaspoons paprika

1 1⁄2 teaspoons of dried oregano

1⁄4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons of cocoa powder

4 cans of vegetable broth

1 bay leaf

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes

2 15 oz can of black beans

1 15 oz can of pinto beans

2 to 3 teaspoons of vegetable oil

In a large pot add the oil over medium to medium-high heat. Toss in the carrots and saute’ for a couple minutes. Now add the rest of the vegetables other than the garlic. Saute’ until the onions are translucent, stirring frequently for seven minutes or so. Now add the garlic and all of the spices (other than the bay leaf) and saute’ for another three minutes or so. At this point people may start walking in to see what you are cooking because the smell is unbelievable. Rinse and drain all of the beans and add them along with everything else listed in the recipe. Bring to a slow simmer and allow to cook uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and take an immersion blender and blend about one-quarter to one-third of the soup. This is what gives you the beautiful chili-like texture. Salt to taste and serve with sour cream, corn bread, shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onions or cilantro for the toppings. Avocado goes well with this too. Enjoy!

Dave Lobeck is an Edward Jones financial adviser in Jeffersonville by day and a BBQ enthusiast on nights and weekends. Liz is his wife. You can contact Dave with your BBQ, cooking or grilling questions at davelobeck@gmail.com. You can also visit their YouTube channel at ​www.YouTube.com/BBQMyWay

BBQ MY WAY: A delicious vegetarian chili – no joke! | Lifestyles
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