January 2, 2012 • Soup
I hope you aren’t skipping over this post because you aren’t a vegetarian. I’m not either. In fact, I adore meat. Especially since I’ve started buying fabulous meat from Colorado farmers and ranchers who treat their animals well. But eating less meat and more vegetables is a good idea for all of us, and it can’t be denied that it will help you lose weight (if that’s in your goals like me).You might remember this dried bean blend that I happened to find at Costco last year. Since it was from Costco, it’s huge and will take me some time to use it up. But it’s perfect for the heartiness factor in a vegetarian chile.I also happened to have two large bags of diced peppers from the farm from this summer waiting patiently in my freezer……along with bags full of these roasted poblano peppers I put up in the fall.And as I was preparing for my New Year’s Eve dinner, which included a fabulous chile pot roasted pork recipe from my cookbook project, I held on to the bones from the pork roast, knowing they could infuse flavor in some stock. Clearly leave this part out if you are going for a strictly vegetarian chile, but a great way to make stock more flavorful is to simmer canned stock with some extra carrots, celery, onion and bones for an hour or so before using. And fortunately I had several jars still of these gorgeous heirloom tomatoes from the summer farmers’ market waiting to make their mark on a dish.Chile isn’t so much a specific recipe, so adjust what you want according to what you have on hand. And take note of the heat level of your chiles before you add them to the mix. I discovered after the fact that mine are weirdly much hotter than you’d ever expect from poblanos. And if that does happen to you, you can always adjust the heat afterwards by adding more tomatoes, or serving the chile with cooling ingredients like cheese, sour cream, or avocado. Don’t forget a little chopped cilantro for garnish!
- 4 cups vegetable stock (or chicken or beef if not strictly vegetarian)
- 1½ cups dried bean medley
- 1 cup diced green peppers
- 3 cans diced tomatoes with juices
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 6 poblano peppers, seeded, roasted, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin (or more to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander (or more to taste)
- 1 tablespoon ground chile powder (or more to taste)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cornmeal, as needed for thickening
- Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until beans are tender, at least 2 hours. If chile is too thin, sprinkle in a little cornmeal, stirring until thickened. if chile starts drying out while it's cooking, add a bit more water as it cooks. You may add other vegetables as desired to the chile: mushrooms, onions, carrots, etc. all can work well.
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