cook's illustrated veggie chili

3 tbsp avocado oil
or other neutral vegetable oil
1 medium onion
about 1 cup chopped fine
1 large red bell pepper
stemmed and seeded, about 1 1/4 cups chopped fine
8 cloves garlic
pressed or minced
1 tbsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
reduce or omit for small children
2 cups water
1 can crushed tomatoes
28 ounces, preferably Muir Glen fire roasted
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp brown sugar
3 cups canned beans
combination of pinto, black, and red kidney, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup cilantro leaves
coarsely chopped
1 tbsp lime juice
steamed rice
I got this recipe from a fellow parent at a school camping trip and will be preparing it, in advance, for yet another camping trip! :) After the veggies are softened, the cumin is bloomed - heated in the center of the pot - to deepen its flavor.
Thaw the corn in the fridge overnight.
In large Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook for about 3 minutes, or until translucent and soft.
Mix in the red pepper and cook for about 3 minutes, or until soft and lightly browned around the edges.
Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Push the veggies to the perimeter of the pot and bloom the cumin seeds in the now-empty center of the pot. Stir constantly for about 30 seconds.
Stir the cumin into the veggies and cook for another minute.
Add the chili powder and cayenne. Stir into the veggies and cook for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
Pour in the water. Stir and scrape any fond - brown bits of food - from the bottom of the pot into the mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce to simmer. On our stove we get a nice simmer around medium-low heat. Cook for about 5 minutes.
Mix in the tomatoes, oregano, and brown sugar. Increase the heat again to boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for about 25 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Gently fold in the beans and corn with a spatula.
Transfer the pot away from heat then stir in the salt, cilantro, and lime juice.
If preparing the veggie chili in advance, let the chili cool to room temp, then store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Simmer over medium-low to reheat.
Serve with steamed rice.
source: adapted from Cook's Illustrated's Soups Stews & Chilis