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Hot Vegetarian Chili for a Cold Winter's Night

Cashews and Raisins, Oh My! Sure to Put a Smile on Your Face

Move over meat lovers, there's a reason for vegetarians to smile this winter. Chili gets a whole new spin with the addition of cashews and raisins to tons of beans and seasonings. It's so good that I like to make this version all year long. Before the pandemic, when we used to socialize in person (sigh), I regularly served this chili at wintertime parties, where even my most dedicated carnivore friends came back for seconds.

If you like a spicy version, increase the chili powder to 1 tablespoon and add in 1/4 teaspoon of bottled hot pepper sauce when you're adding all the seasonings. Vegans can enjoy the chili without the cheddar cheese topping, though I love mine topped with plenty of wonderfully melted cheese. However you like your chili, dig out your favorite large soup pot, set it on the stove, and get ready to stir up a whole batch of chili love.

Vegetarian Chili

3 medium onions, sliced (1 1/2 cups)

3 stalks celery, sliced (1 1/2 cups)

2 green peppers, sliced (1 1/2 cups)

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons olive oil

(2) 28-ounce cans tomatoes, cut up

(3) 15 1/2-ounce cans red kidney beans

(1) 15-ounce can great northern beans or navy beans

1 cup beer or water

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup cashews

1/4 cup vinegar

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon snipped parsley

2 teaspoons salt

1 bay leaf

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Cook onion, celery, green pepper, and garlic in oil til tender. Stir in undrained tomatoes, undrained kidney and great northern beans, along with all remaining ingredients except cheese. Bring to boiling and reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 1 hour. Remove cover and simmer 1 hour longer. Remove bay leaf. Top each serving with 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Serves 8.


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