Southwestern Vegetarian Chili

Is it a herb? Is it a spice? It’s…. Super Garlic!
Chipotle chili powder. Smoked Paprika. Cumin. Turmeric. Ginger. Along with garlic, this savoury line-up of anti-inflammatory spices combine to bring the first layer of flavours to my Southwestern Vegetarian Chili. Beans and legumes are fibre-full and heart healthy; and they help to stabilize blood sugar levels. The cruciferous vegetables in this are excellent sources of Vitamins A, and C and are also serve as anti-inflammatories when not over-cooked.

I haven’t made a big pot of chili in a long time. The weather here in The Netherlands has been cold, windy, and rainy as of late, so this was the perfect bit of comfort food I was looking for. I got into my chopping and just kept grabbing ingredients from the fridge and pantry and before I knew it, my pot of chili turned into a bit of a poker game: “I’ll see your can of chopped tomatoes, and raise you a can of black beans!” I kept going back and forth, adding a bit more of this and that, until my pot runneth (almost) over.

The recipe I have for you will be for a family-size pot of chili. If you want to double or triple it, feel free! If you want to add in your favourite veg, or eliminate some of the ones I suggest, please do! There is some chopping involved but I promise you, once you get this on the hob and have it bubbling away, the work you put into it, will be paid back a hundredfold in flavour.

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy 🙂


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 large cooking onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped into .5cm semi-circles
  • 2 stalks of celery, .5cm slices
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 fingers of fresh turmeric, grated (2 tsp of powder if you don’t have fresh)
  • 1 generous thumb of ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika powder
  • 1 Tbsp chipotle, or regular chili powder (more, if you like it spicy)*
  • 2 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 courgette, sliced lengthwise into quarters, and cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 head of broccoli OR 1 head of cauliflower, broken into bite-size pieces**
  • 2-3 cans total, of drained and rinsed black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, OR cannellini beans – use any combination
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • lime wedges and fresh coriander for garnish


  1. I invite you to prep all of your vegetables and beans ahead of time. This way, you can have them on hand to add to the pot as you move along with your cooking.
  2. In a large soup pot or Dutch oven, warm the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and red pepper, and sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften. Now add the garlic, turmeric, and ginger, and stir around for another minute or so. At this point, you may want to add another glug of oil while you tip in the cumin, paprika, and chili powders. Give this addition a stir for one more minute.
  3. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and stock, and stir until combined. Let this simmer for about 5 minutes and then add the courgette, and broccoli and/or cauliflower. With the lid on, another 10 minutes of simmering and stirring and it is time to tip in the beans. Let this cook for a further 10 minutes, with the lid partially on.
  4. Taste along the way to see if you want to add more heat or a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  5. Your delicious chili is now ready to serve up! Add a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a sprinkle of fresh coriander to brighten and lift the dish to another level of amazing flavour.
  6. *Add a fresh red hot chili pepper if you prefer that kind of heat
    **You can also do a combo of ½ broccoli and ½ cauliflower.

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