Back before I started food blogging, I would try recipes from different cooking magazines and cookbooks. I’d come across a gem of a recipe and then promptly forget about it. So I started a list on my computer of all the recipes that Marcus and I have tried and loved. When I started blogging, this blog became that list.
I still have the list and every once in a while I come across a recipe and think “I can’t believe I haven’t posted that on the blog yet”. Quick Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa is one of those recipes. I’ve been making it for years.
Friday rolled around and I knew we would need a meat-free dinner that was easy and a sure thing. I had baked goods to make as bribes for our community garden orchard planting volunteers. And Marcus and I have been constantly covered in plaster dust as we frantically try to get our front bedroom finished. The last thing I wanted to do was fuss around with dinner. That’s when I remembered this chili.
I love this chili. The earthiness of the beans, the sweetness of the red pepper, the chewiness of the barley – all of it combines to make a soup that is more than the sum of its parts. Make sure to add the garnishes. The cilantro, avocado & lime juice add a lot to this chili.
I made a few small changes to this recipe. I’m not a fan of canola oil so I used olive oil instead. I also usually have veggie stock in my freezer so I used that. I’ve made it before with canned stock and it’s still delicious. I also don’t countenance with the idea of baked chips. If I’m going to eat a tortilla chip, I’d rather eat fewer chips than eat a piece of cardboard that’s masquerading as a tortilla chip.
If you’re really short on time, instead of making the avocado salsa just add extra cilantro and plain chopped avocado to the soup.
Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset
Quick Vegetarian Chili with Avocado Salsa
Adapted from Cooking Light
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano (Use Mexican oregano if you have it)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4.5 oz) can chopped green chiles
2/3 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (14.5 oz) can vegetable broth
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
6 tablespoons reduced-fat sour cream
6 lime wedges
tortilla chips for garnish
Avocado Salsa (see below)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and red bell pepper. Saute for 3 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano, garlic and green chilis. Cook one minute
Stir in barley, black beans, tomatoes, and broth. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for 20 minutes or until barley is tender. Stir in cilantro.
Garnish with sour cream, lime wedges, chips and avocado salsa.
Adapted from Cooking Light
Yield: 1 cup (serving size 2 1/2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup finely chopped avocado
1/3 cup chopped tomato
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
1 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno (seed if you want to keep the heat down)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients and gently mix. Serve immediately.