Chili Colorado

“Oh Mom, that looks so good!”

Yeah, I did it again! Another soup Max will eat! He loves Lima beans, he loves chili, and he loves carrots and red peppers. Put them all together and you get a happy nine-year-old who will eat something other than toast! He even helped me name it. While I was making the soup, Max was working on a drawing and using some colored pencils named in English, Spanish and French down the side. He was quizzing me by asking me how to pronounce the colors in Spanish. When he came over to look at the soup, he said, “It looks like Fall. It’s so colorful. How do you say ‘colorful‘ in Spanish? It’s ‘colorado’ I replied. There you have it, Chili Colorado.

Chili Colorado:

  • oil to coat pan
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Serrano pepper, minced
  • 1 pound dried Lima beans
  • 1 bunch dinosaur kale, deveined and finely chopped
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, roasted and finely chopped
  • 3 Tbs. ground cumin
  • 1 – 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. chili powder
  • 2 large red peppers, diced

Directions: Start by washing the beans then cook them until tender. Once the beans are soft, drain the water off and rinse them a few times. All this washing and rinsing helps eliminate gas.

In a stock pot, saute the onion until it becomes translucent. Add the garlic. When the garlic becomes fragrant, return the Lima beans to the pot, and fill with water just a little above the level of the beans. Add the carrots, kale, cauliflower and spices and bring the soup to a simmer. I often taste here and add more cumin, chili powder or salt. When the carrots are tender, add the red peppers. You don’t want them to cook for too long or they get mushy. Serve with cheddar cheese, chopped cilantro, crackers or tortilla chips.

Vegetarian Chili Fall ’09

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I love chili, and it is often a staple in our house during the winter months. I labeled this one “09” because I never make it the same way twice. It’s also one of Max’s favorite soups, and you know by now, if he makes a request for any of my cooking, I oblige. Here’s one he and I whipped up using two kinds of beans I had in the freezer and a bunch of CSA tomatoes, corn, carrots and onions. I usually use lots of peppers and like to add zucchini or sweet potatoes, but right now I am focused on using what’s in the box.

Spices for chili are also very flexible. You can use the dried chipotle, or any hot pepper. Sometimes I use pre-made chili powder spices, but often I just add cumin, pulverized dried, hot peppers and salt. You can add the spices last and play around until you get a flavor you like.

Chili Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 head garlic, minced
  • 8-10 carrots, diced
  • 8 cups cooked beans (we used 4 cups black and 4 cups white)
  • 8-12 tomatoes, pureed
  • 6 ears of corn
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. salt
  • 1 Tbs. dried and powdered chipotle pepper
  • 1 Tbs. cumin
  • 1 Tbs. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano

Directions:

Microwave the corn in the husk for five minutes. Remove it and let it cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, saute the diced onions until they are translucent and add the minced garlic. Cook for a few seconds just until the garlic releases its fragrance. At this point the corn should be cool enough to remove the husks and cut the kernels from the cob. Add all other ingredients and let the soup simmer for about twenty minutes until the flavors are nicely melded. The beauty of any soup is the garnish and with chili it’s fun to be creative. We like ours with chunks of cheddar, avocado or a dollop of crema, and there must be the crunch factor so we eat it with either crackers or chips.