Blog of the Belly Biter:

Some plant-based, some unhealthy, some super healthy but ALL good. Kid tested and mother approved!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Italian Chili.

This is one of my most favoritest soups... ever. The Rachael Ray original is made with turkey - but here is my vegan version. I loved it... so did the kids... but Shayne swore it was too sweet. Huh. Don't know where that came from.

3-4 cups great northern beans (2 cans)
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and grated
6 large cloves garlic, 3 grated & 3 smashed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
4 jarred roasted red peppers, drained
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable broth
4 to 5 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons (a couple palmfuls) chili powder
2 teaspoons (2/3 palmful) sweet, smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (eyeball it)

3 tablespoons earth balance butter
1 loaf crusty bread (about 1 pound), cut into 1-inch squares
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a big pot over medium-high heat, steam fry onions, carrots, grated garlic and bay leaf until browned, about 8 minutes more. Add beans. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper, then stir in the balsamic vinegar, scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pot.

While the veggies are browning, puree the roasted peppers in a food processor. Stir the puree into the pot then add the vegetable broth, thyme sprigs, chili powder, paprika and allspice, and season with salt and pepper. Bring up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. 

croutons: While the chili is simmering, place a small skillet over medium heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, butter and crushed garlic cloves, and cook 2-3 minutes. Place bread in a large bowl. Pour the garlic butter evenly over the bread. Sprinkle with rosemary and lots of pepper over the bread and toss to coat. Place the cubes on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden and crunchy, tossing occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool.

To serve, remove bay leaf and thyme springs from the pot. Ladle chili bowls and top with a handful of the croutons.

Yields: 6 servings {I needed to serve more, so I added 4 more cups of vegetable broth to the above ingredients and it still came out perfect! seasonings and all...}

Tip: To make life easier but get the same yummy rosemary taste with the soup,  I buy the rosemary crusty bread at central market, slice it, toast it, rub with a clove of garlic while hot and use it as a dipper instead of croutons.

1 comment:

  1. YUMMY! perfect for cold weather...I have all the ingredients so I think this is on the menu soon. Except I may have to make a trip to Central Market! OH...I have a recipe for the yummy apricot walnut cranberry bread they sell there, so good. That and vegan butternut squash soup is on our menu for tomorrow with a yummy sprout salad!


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