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Serves 8 hungry adults

Since the mid-eighties I have always been faithful to a vegetarian chili recipe from an old Jane Brody cookbook. The list of spices in her recipe initially seemed daunting, but the resulting chili was always full of complex flavor. This chili recipe is my adaptation of her recipe. Don’t let the long list of spices be a deterrent. This chili contains no meat, thus the name non carne. Smoked paprika (even McCormick brand sells this spice) adds a beautiful red color and sweet smoky flavor. This is a “spicy” chili, with a deep, rich flavor, not a “hot” chile pepper-type of chili. I prefer to build the flavor, and then if anyone wants their chili “hot”, all they have to do is shake their favorite red pepper sauce over the top of their serving.

1/2 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

4 large carrots, peeled and sliced thin

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons mild chili powder

2 tablespoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons thyme

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Generous pinch ground cloves

Generous pinch ground allspice

2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or honey

One (6-ounce can) vegetable juice (3/4 cup)

One (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes with their juice

One (15-ounce) can chick peas, drained and rinsed

One (15-ounce) can red beans, drained and rinsed

One (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed

2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

3 cups cooked brown rice

Chopped avocado for garnish

Sliced green onions for garnish


In a Dutch oven or shallow soup pot, cook the onion and carrot in the olive oil until the onions are soft and translucent, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, measure out the spices and mix together the garlic, chili powder, cumin, thyme, smoked paprika, salt, coriander, cloves, and allspice. Add the spice mixture to the onions and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in the maple syrup or honey, vegetable juice, tomatoes, chick peas, red beans, black beans, and the broth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to a simmer and for 30 minutes. Serve in a bowl over a portion of cooked brown rice. Garnish with chopped avocado and sliced green onions.

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