Vegetarian Chili

1 1/2 cups dried red kidney beans
4 cups cold water
3/4 cup bulgur wheat
1 1/2 cups boiling water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup sliced celery, 1/2 thick
1 cup sliced carrots, 1/2 thick
1 cup butternut squash, in 1 cubes
1 cup eggplant, in 1 cubes
1 cup fresh mushrooms, halved
1 red, yellow, green bell pepper in 1 inch squares
1 large green zucchini, halved cut in 1/2 inch slices
1/2 teaspoon tabasco sauce
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup
1/4 cup dill,
1/4 cup oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
1 to 2 jalapenos, minced
salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
56 ounces italian plum tomatoes, chopped, with juice
3 cups v-8 vegetable juice
2 ounces tomato paste
1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, thawed)
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheeses, mixed
1 sliced red onion

Cover the beans with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer 45 minutes until tender. Strain, saving the liquid. Set both aside.

Soak the bulgur in the boiling water 5 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Set aside.

In a large stock pot, heat the oil and sauté the garlic, onion, celery, carrots, butternut squash and eggplant until the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 15 minutes.

Add the remaining vegetables, Tabasco, spices, herbs and flavorings and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes with juice, V-8, beans and bean liquid and simmer uncovered over medium heat about 30 minutes, until the vegetables are still slightly crunchy. Add the soaked bulgur and corn. Taste for seasonings. Cool and chill overnight until ready to serve. Make at least a day ahead.

To serve, reheat uncovered until hot. Serve in bowls. Top each serving with grated cheeses and sliced red onions.

Freezes well.



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