Let me run through the list of those eleven spices: ground ancho chile, ground coriander, ground cumin, Mexican oregano, paprika, brown sugar, unsweetened cocoa, ground chipotle powder, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, salt. Additional flavor came from red wine, chopped cilantro, and chipotles in adobo sauce. All of those ingredients were measured and set aside before cooking began. To start the chili, butter was melted and olive oil was added to a pot over medium heat. Chopped onion, bell pepper, and some salt were added. After the onions were lightly browned, minced garlic and chopped jalapeno were added. Next came the mix of dry spices followed by a mix of red wine, cilantro, chopped canned chipotles, and tomato paste. The vegetables and spices were cooked, and the bottom of the pan was scraped, and then a mixture of canned tomatoes and water was added. I also added some chunks of summer squash just because I had some. After stirring everything together and scraping the bottom of the pan again, the soup was simmered for about 20 minutes. Then, canned black beans that had been rinsed and drained were added. Last, more cilantro was added. While the chili was simmering away, I cooked some rice with minced onion and added chopped cilantro. Also, I prepped the Summer Vegetable Salsa made with halved cherry tomatoes, avocado chunks, chopped zucchini, fresh corn kernels, sliced radish, and cilantro. The vegetables were tossed with a mix of olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, honey, and salt. I served the chili on white rice pilaf with the salsa on top and garnished it with sour cream, crumbled goat cheese, and sliced jalapeno.
The mix of spices used here is exactly what my previous attempts at vegetarian chili needed. In the finished dish, it’s hard to pick out the cocoa powder or any one of the other spices or even the red wine specifically, but all of those flavors came together beautifully. This might not be Texas chili, but this is definitely my kind of chili.
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