Killer Vegetarian Chili on Opening Day

Yesterday was opening day of deer hunting (rifle) here in Michigan. My mostly vegetarian husband took our mostly vegetarian son out in the woods, while I knocked out some killer chili. Where was the littlest son? He was busy eating crayons or coloring, depends on who is watching.
I started with ‘Vegetarian Chili’ from Mollie Katzen’s book, The New Moosewood Cookbook. It’s a fantastic recipe as is, but I added chickpeas and a teaspoon of liquid smoke. The recipe is as follows:
2 1/2 c. dry kidney beans, soaked (overnight)
1 c. tomato juice
1 c. uncooked bulgur wheat
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 c. chopped onion
6-8 large cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 medium stalk celery, diced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. basil
2 tsp. chili powder (more to taste)
1 1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper and cayenne (to taste)
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 14 1/2 oz. can tomatoes
3 Tbs. tomato paste (half a small can)
1.) Place soaked beans in a dutch oven or stock pot, cover with water, and bring to boil. Partially cover, turn heat down to simmer, and cook until tender (about 1 1/4 hours). Watch that the water level during cooking, adding more if needed. Drain off any excess water when the beans are done.
2.) Heat the tomato juice to boiling. Add it it to the bulgur in a small bowl and let stand 15 minutes. Add this to the cooked beans.
3.) Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add onion, half the garlic, carrot, celery, and seasonings. Sauté over medium heat (about 5 minutes). Add bell pepper, and sauté until all the vegetables are tender.
4.) Add the sautéed vegetables, tomatoes, and tomato paste to the beans. Simmer over lowest heat, stirring occasionally, for 20-30 minutes. After 15 minutes, add remaining garlic. Taste and adjust seasonings, and serve hot.
Like I said before, I made some additions (at step 4). I also served with shredded Colby jack cheese, chopped fresh cilantro and homemade cornbread on the side. I also made a double batch to freeze some for another night. I have just enough left over to pour over tortilla chips and make nachos on Friday night!
Anyone else have any tasty additions to their veggie chili? How about uses for leftover chili?


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