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Author Notes: Fellow Texans might harangue me for daring to call this chili, but I’ve added three adjectives indicating its contents to act as disclaimers. —Katherine Hysmith
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 4 small whole carrots, sliced into thin rounds
- 4 small stalks celery, (the dainty leafy ones), thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1 to 2 tablespoons tablespoons good chile powder
- 1/2 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 flour
- 8 ounces plain, unsalted tomato sauce
- 10.5 ounces garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 15.5 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
- 15.5 ounces chili beans, NOT drained or rinsed (I like Ranch Style brand)
- 16 ounces water (I just fill the chili beans can up to the top)
- 1 small zucchini, cut into quarters and thinly sliced
- spring onions, thinly sliced
- cotija cheese, crumbled
- Set a dutch oven or large, heavy stockpot over medium high heat. Add a couple tablespoons of oil and heat through. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, sprinkle with salt, and cook until the onions are translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute more.
- Sprinkle the spices over the sauteed vegetables and stir to thoroughly coat. Push the vegetables to the edges of the pan, making an empty hole in the middle. Add the tomato paste, gently nudge with a wooden spoon, and fry in the middle of the pan until fragrant, about one minute. Stir to combine the tomato paste with the vegetables. Sprinkle the flour over everything and stir to combine, cooking for another minute.
- Add the tomato sauce, stirring to combine. Then add all the beans, water, and zucchini, giving it a final thorough stir. Turn the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced a bit and the vegetables are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve hot topped with spring onions, a sprinkle of cotija cheese, and homemade fritos. NOTE: If you don’t like or can’t find chili beans, you can sub regular pintos (drained and rinsed) and increase the spices a bit.