I love chili on a chili fall day ;) This is a basic recipe that is amazing on it's own but can also be pimped out to your liking. Michael likes to add celery but I am anti-celery unless it has peanut butter and raisins on it :) You could also add a zucchini, red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, butternut squash, etc... This is also a recipe where you get to call upon your inner chef. I'm a flavor lover, so I usually go heavy on the spices and add a little more than what's listed here. But start with these amounts, let your chili simmer for a couple minutes to let the spices incorporate, and then test it and go from there. I know this recipe looks like it has a lot of ingredients, but besides chopping the onion and whatever veggies you decide on, the rest is just canned goods and spices that get thrown in. Plus it's a one-pot meal! My FAVORITE!
If you want to get really creative, sometimes Michael and I turn it into a cornbread-n-chili casserole. Reduce the simmer time for the chili to 5 minutes, pour into a large casserole dish, top with the your favorite cornbread batter (stay tuned for a cornbread recipe -still trying to perfect it), and bake according to the cornbread's instructions. Super yummy and fun!
2 cans diced tomatoes (fire roasted with green chilis if you can find it. If not, plain is fine)
1 can tomato soup (not condensed) plus half a can of water
1 green pepper, coarsely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 or 4 cloves garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 carrot or about 12 baby carrots, sliced the same size as the pepper
1 can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 handful of cilantro (optional)
1 bag spinach
½ teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder (in addition to the garlic of choice above)
salt and pepper to taste start with ½ a teaspoon of each and go from there
1. Cut and cook your veggies. Heat a large pot on medium heat and add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. When it is heated, add your onion. Let the onion cook for about 3 minutes. Add your garlic, pepper, and carrots. And cook for about 6-7 minutes until they start to soften.
2. Drain and add the Beans. Drain and rinse both cans of beans in a strainer and add them to the pot.
3. Add Diced tomatoes and Tomato Soup and stir.
4. Add your spices. Start with the amount listed above and then call upon your inner chef to decide if you want to stop there or keep going. If it's bland, start with more salt and pepper. If it's still bland, then play around with the other spices - particularly the onion and garlic powder and the cumin. Adding too much chili powder could make it too spicy - not necessarily a bad thing.
5. Cook the chili. Bring the chili to a boil. Then lower the heat, cover, and let cook for at least 15 minutes.
6. Serve. When you are about to serve it, stir in the spinach and cilantro if you are using them. Give it a final taste test to see if you need more spices.
Serve with cornbread or tortilla chips and top with Daiya cheddar "cheese."