Vegetable Chili

A Gift for my Vegetarian Friends

One of my all time favorite chili recipes, which happens to be vegetarian. It’s the perfect thing to make for a crowd with a regular chili con carne. It will please your vegetarian guests and the carnivores as well. It’s delicious!

Vegetable Chili

Serves 8

1 medium-size eggplant, unpeeled, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 Tbs coarse (kosher) salt
3/4 cup best-quality olive oil
2 medium-size yellow onions, cut into 1/4-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large green bell peppers, cored, seeded, and cut into 1/4 inch dice
1 35 oz can Italian plum tomatoes
1-1/2 lbs fresh ripe Italian plum tomatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 Tbs chili powder
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs dried oregano
1 Tbs dried basil
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 cup canned dark red kidney beans, drained
1 cup canned chick-peas (garbanzos) drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
shredded cheddar cheese

Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with the coarse salt. Let stand for 1 hour. Pat dry with paper towels.

Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.

Add the eggplant and sauté until almost tender, adding a bit more oil if necessary.

Remove the eggplant to a casserole or Dutch oven.

Heat the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) oil in the same skillet over low heat.

Add the onions, garlic and green peppers and sauté just until softened, about 10 minutes.

Add onions to the casserole with any oil.

Place the casserole over low heat and add the canned tomatoes with their liquid, fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, basil, pepper, salt, fennel, and parsley.

Cook uncovered, stirring frequently, for 30 minutes.

Stir in the kidney beans, chick-peas, dill and lemon juice and cook for another 15 minutes. The eggplant peel should be tender.  Stir well and taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve with shredded cheddar cheese.

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