Spicy Vegetarian Chili

A hearty, satisfying, veggie chili. Sure, you could add some ground beef or chorizo, but why would you when this is already so good? We love this with our Cornbread.

1 large onion
1 large carrot
1 medium celeriac
1 green bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 pounds (3 large) tomatoes
or 2 cans diced tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chipotles in adobo (optional)
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups Jacobs Cattle or Vermont Cranberry beans, dry or 2-3 cans kidney beans
1 cup Black Turtle beans, dry or 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp dried oregano

First, the beans:
1. Using separate pots for the different beans (in our experience, black beans take a little longer to cook that Jacob’s Cattle or Cranberry beans), cover the beans with fresh water, add a healthy pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Then lower the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the beans are tender, about 1½ hours. (Maybe 2 hours for the black beans.) If using canned beans, drain and rinse them.

Then, the veggies:
1. Wash, peel, and trim the veggies, as needed. Chop the onion, carrot, celeriac, peppers and tomatoes. Finely chop the garlic and and chipotles.
2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, bell peppers and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened but not browned, 10 to 12 minutes.
3. Add chipotle chiles, oregano, chili powder, cumin and salt and stir to blend. Add tomatoes with juices and 4 cups water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and gently simmer, uncovered, for 45 minutes.
4. Add beans and simmer to warm through. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

Notes: for a secret ingredient, throw a cinnamon stick in during step 3. Successful experiments have also been had with a tablespoon of cocoa powder.