The Best, Veggie-Loaded Vegan Chili Recipe – loaded up with healthy veggies and beans, this deep and complex recipe will convert meat-eaters! Make a big batch on Sunday, then serve it during the busy workweek!
Small dice the onion, carrots (unpeeled) and celery, and place in a large dutch or heavy bottomed pot over medium heat, with a couple tablespoons of olive oil.
Chop the rest of the veggies and the garlic and add to the pot, season with ½ teaspoon salt and continue cooking for 15 minutes, or until veggies are just tender, stirring occasionally. I turned up the heat to med-high for a bit, then back down. Getting a little browning in the pot is good.
While this happening, line up your spices, rinsed and drain the beans. If using fresh tomatoes, dice them saving the juices.
When the veggies are just tender add the spices – chili powder, cumin, coriander, oregano, optional chipotle powder and/or smoked paprika, cinnamon. Toast the spices in the pot for 1-2 minutes to bring their flavors forward. Add the tomatoes (with their juices), water, and beans. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon salt, stir, and then cover with a lid, and simmer gently on low heat, for 15 minutes. Get your garnishes and bowls ready.
Stir in soy sauce and chocolate, letting it melt if using chocolate squares. Taste, adjust, adding more soy for depth as needed. I added 3 teaspoons.
Serve with fresh cilantro, diced avocado, or for heartier eaters, a dollop of sour cream or even a little drizzle of olive oil.
For faster cooking, be sure to dice veggies small. It helps if you have a large sharp knife. 😉
Chocolate and soy sauce may seem strange for chili, but both add complexity and depth.
If you like smoky flavors, add both the chipotle and smoked paprika.
The leftovers are great the next day- to mix it up a bit, try serving it over a baked potato.
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