Chili tends to be fall cuisine, but with Duluth’s fluctuating temperatures, we can justify a good chili feast well into spring. This recipe offers a satisfying texture with some lighter flavors, thanks to fresh tomato, corn, and green beans.
Nothing goes better with chili than cornbread, but it tends to be either dry, crumbly, and flavorless, or not actually cornbread. I’ve tested different combinations for years and, at last, I think I have found it!
Springtime Veggie Chili
-1 T. olive oil
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-½ c. sweet onion
-½ c. red onion
-1 c. chopped fresh green beans
-1 c. chopped red bell pepper
-3 T. chili powder
-1½ T. cumin
-1 c. grated fresh carrots
-One 28 oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, with juice
-15 oz. black beans (canned or dry)
-15 oz. kidney beans (canned or dry)
-15 oz. pinto or white navy beans (canned or dry)
-15 oz. black-eyed peas (canned or dried)
If using dried beans, combine in a bowl and cover with cold water. Soak for eight hours. Add one cup of water or vegetable broth to the ingredients list.
-1 c. whole kernel corn (fresh or frozen)
-1½ T. dried oregano
-1½ T. dried basil
-1 T. garlic powder
-1 c. fresh tomatoes, diced
-Grated cheddar (or any favorite cheese), optional
-Sour cream, optional
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium to low heat. Stir in garlic, onion, and green beans. Cook until tender. Mix in red bell pepper and carrots. Season with chili powder and cumin.
Stir in canned tomatoes. If using canned beans, stir in all of the beans with their liquids. If using dried beans, stir in the beans along with one cup of water or vegetable broth.
Add corn, and season with oregano, basil and garlic powder. Cook over low heat until flavors are absorbed and vegetables are soft (approximately half an hour to let it absorb all the flavors).
Truly Moist Cornbread
-¾ c. cornmeal
-2 c. flour
-2/3 c. sugar
-1 T. baking powder
-½ t. salt
-1/3 c. vegetable oil (or lard)
-3 T. butter
-¼ c. honey
-1¼ c. buttermilk
-1 can creamed corn
In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a saucepan, melt the oil (or lard) with butter and honey.
Lightly beat eggs and mix with buttermilk. Add all wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir. Add in creamed corn. Batter should be somewhat lumpy. Pour into greased 9x13 pan and cook at 325 for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.