Meatless Winter Chili
Zesty peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, beans, herbs and beer make this meatless chili satisfying and delicious.
- 3-4 ancho chili peppers
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms, quartered
- 1 pound small to medium firm zucchini, chopped into a small dice
- 2 medium onions, chopped into a small dice
- 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 fresh red or green hot chili pepper, chopped or thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin (about a palmful)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander (about a palmful)
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano or marjoram (about 1/3 palmful)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 bottle beer, such as Negra Modelo
- 1 can black beans (15 ounces), rinsed
- Juice of 1 lime
Toppers to choose from:
- Crushed tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded sharp cheddar or smoked cheese, finely chopped scallions or finely chopped onions, lime wedges
Seed and stem the ancho chili peppers. In a large saucepan, cover them with a couple of cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer to soften, 10 minutes.
In a large pot, heat the EVOO, four turns of the pan, over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, brown for 7-8 minutes, then add the zucchini, onions, garlic, fresh hot chili pepper, spices, herbs, salt and pepper; stir frequently for 10 minutes. Add in the tomato paste and stir for 1 minute; add in the beer and deglaze the pan. Stir in the beans. Puree the ancho chili peppers in 1/2 cup of the water used to soften them, then add to the chili. Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavors. Add the lime juice. Serve with the toppers.