• Soup on Sunday: Texas Vegetarian Chili with Roasted Pepper Puree

    by  • 5 Jun ’11 • soup • 13 Comments

    As a general rule we eat a vegetarian diet (well, technically a pescatarian diet). And while we have never been huge lovers of red meat, there are times we crave certain foods – like chili! So, this past week my husband went in search of a vegetarian chili recipe. I can feel the skepticism as a type! We made this for friends on Friday; the entire pot was devoured. It was so good that I asked my husband to make it again yesterday! Vegetarian or not, this chili is a winner in my book. Let me know what you think.

    The original recipe came from here and we doctored it to our own taste and liking. I’m going to warm up leftovers now…

    4 T olive oil
    2 onions, diced
    3 cloves garlic, crushed
    1 T cumin
    1 T chili powder
    1 t paprika
    2 t oregano
    1 1/2 t cocoa powder (unsweetened)
    1/2 t celery salt
    1 1/2 t Tabasco (add more to taste)
    2 T dark soy sauce (or 1 T Soy sauce and 1 T Worcestershire sauce if you are not concerned about it being vegetarian)
    1 can tomatoes, diced
    1 1/2 T tomato paste
    1 cup bulgar wheat
    1 pint beer
    2 cups vegetable stock (plus 2 cups if letting simmer throughout the day)
    1/2 t baking soda

    grated cheese
    pickled jalapenos
    roasted pepper puree (recipe here)

    In a large pot, sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add spices, Tabasco, soy sauce, can of tomatoes, tomato paste and bulgar. Stir to combine. Add half of the beer and 1 cup stock. Stir, bring to boil then reduce heat to low simmer. Add remaining beer and stock as chili begins to thicken. After liquid is added, add baking soda, stirring well. DO NOT TASTE for 30 minutes!

    Let chili sit on the stove on very low heat for several hours, adding more liquid as needed. We make it in the morning and let it simmer all day. Top with pickled jalapenos, grated cheese and pepper puree.

    We served it over corn bread, ‘Arkansas Traveler’ style.  Growing up my parents always referred to roast beef served over cornbread and topped with brown gravy as an Arkansas Traveler. Is any else familiar with this term?

    We also suspect that this would be a good chili for Frito pies. Remember the school carnivals in the 70s when they served chili in the Fritos bag? However, given the lack of Fritos in Scotland, we have yet to try it out. But you can bet that I will be buying Fritos on my next trip to the States. This recipe is a work in progress, so suggestions are more than welcome!

    Note the beans in the above photo. This would not be a Texas chili.

    From the International Chili Society’s Judging Criteria:
    Traditional Red Chili is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with red chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of BEANS and PASTA which are strictly forbidden.

    Chili Verde is defined by the International Chili Society as any kind of meat or combination of meats, cooked with green chili peppers, various spices and other ingredients, with the exception of BEANS and PASTA, which are strictly forbidden.

    I’m not sure which is more astonishing; the fact that the International Chili Society has such an aversion to beans or that an International Chili Society exists. Oh what would they make of our bastardized vegetarian version!

    top image Chris Carman
    bottom image flickr

    13 Responses to Soup on Sunday: Texas Vegetarian Chili with Roasted Pepper Puree

    1. 5 Jun ’11 at 12:18 pm

      Hi Ronda, I will try this because I also m nearly vegetarian! Looks and sounds delish. Of course I must have beans or rice in my chili!

      Be sure to enter my awesome $250 Giveaway from Tracy Porter!!

      Art by Karena

      • allthebest
        5 Jun ’11 at 12:24 pm

        I LOVE Tracy. She is the BEST!

    2. pve
      5 Jun ’11 at 12:45 pm

      I make the same chili. I just read “Eat naked” and a few other foodie books – all touting the benefits of eating fresh and unprocessed and limiting meat. I am a huge proponent of your soups! I do hope you will publish an “All the best” soups recipe book with beautiful images. check out “running with tweezers” from some lovely recipes.
      be well

      • allthebest
        5 Jun ’11 at 12:49 pm

        I need to read that book. A soup book is in the works…just have another project pushing it back at the moment! Hope you are well. Would love to see you again soon. x

    3. 5 Jun ’11 at 3:24 pm

      This sounds delicious! And Frito pie is right up my alley–we serve that at our annual Halloween party which is going on year 10, and every one, age 6 to 60, digs in.
      As to the Arkansas Traveler, I grew up in the North, so not a term we used, but my hubby (who grew up in LA, AR and TX) says that’s spot on! Your parents knew what was up:)

      • allthebest
        5 Jun ’11 at 3:27 pm

        Thanks Diane! And your Halloween party sounds like fun!! I do love Frito pie. x

    4. 5 Jun ’11 at 5:33 pm

      A cook book?? Fantastic–now I wont’ have to worry about all of your fantastic recipes that I have saved and are now scattered here and there. This chili sounds great, but not being from Texas, I can’t understand the bean issue. I love beans in my chili. Have a great Sunday–and that thanks for all of the great recipes. Mary

    5. 5 Jun ’11 at 6:34 pm


      • allthebest
        5 Jun ’11 at 6:55 pm

        Gail let me know how it turns out!

    6. 6 Jun ’11 at 12:16 am

      This reminds me of eating Frito pie growing up! Just open up the bag of Frito’s and pour in the chili! Love it! This sounds delicious!

    7. 7 Jun ’11 at 3:08 pm

      I made this for dinner last night and it is superb. You have solved the veggie chili dilemma for me. It’s the bulgar, I’ve never thought of adding it and what a difference it makes.


      • allthebest
        7 Jun ’11 at 5:28 pm

        I am so happy that it turned out well!!

    8. Pingback: CALLOOH CALLAY » Blog Archive » {what I ate} Stirfry with Basil and Peanuts

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