while most of the country is breaking out the sundresses, skimpy bikinis and flip flops, us san franciscans are still gripping our down comforters for warmth as we enter the season known as cold-ass summer around here. although it's false that mark twain ever said, "the coldest winter i ever spent was a summer in san francisco," the statement definitely has some truth to it. so what does any warm-blooded american crave during the cold weather? well, i don't know about you, but i sure love a hot cup o' chili. in preparation for summer hibernation and the vegetarian boyfriend moving in with me (!), i've been testing out several meatless alternatives that are just as satisfying as the original. the secret is adding a healthy tablespoon of smoked paprika that offers that smokiness that meat usually provides. make a huge pot in your favorite dutch oven and you'll have days worth of warmth to enjoy.
smoked veggie chili
serves 6 to 8
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white / yellow onion
2 zuchhini / yellow squash, diced into 1/2 inch squares
1 red pepper, diced into 1/2 inch pieces
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of red wine
1 cup of vegetable broth
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon italian seasonings
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 cup of cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup of cooked kidney beans
1 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
salt to taste
suggested toppings: cheddar cheese, sour cream, cilantro, sliced green onion
place a 5 quart dutch oven (or heavy bottomed pot if you don't have a dutch oven) over medium-high heat. once warmed (usually a minute), add olive oil. allow olive oil to heat (about 30 seconds) and then add diced onions. cook onions for about 4 minutes or until softened. add zucchini and red pepper. cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. add all ingredients up until garbanzo beans. cover and bring to a boil and then uncover and let simmer for 30 minutes. add beans and corn kernels and cook for another 5 minutes. season with salt to taste and top with your favorite chili accoutrements.
best eaten in flannel pajamas with a piping hot piece of cornbread.