vegetarian chili for a crowd


We picked Kaitie up at the airport yesterday, after a day of her chasing planes flying stand by and us waiting breathlessly for her text to tell us whether she was going to be able to land. The Saint John airport had it’s own little micro climate going on – an ice fog situation! We could hear the plane land but we couldn’t see it. Five minutes later that big beautiful smile busted through the entrance of the airport and our Christmas began.

I thought about it last night as I was falling asleep. When my daughter’s are with me, a peace settles into my breath, the world slows down and my world is calm and happy. For the next few days, we’ll visited with family and friends, share Christmas memories, eat all of our favorite holiday food and know how profoundly blessed we are to be together in this hectic crazy world.

Merry Christmas my friends. May your holiday be full of everything that gives you joy. XO

Vegetarian Chili for a Crowd
Serves 20

¾ cup olive oil
6 zucchini, diced ½ inch
2 large sweet onions, diced ½ inch
Carrots, peeled and diced ½ inch
2 lbs sliced mushrooms
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 large colored bell peppers, seeded and diced ½ inch
3 – 28 ounce Italian diced plum tomatoes
2 lbs ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
6 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin seed
2 tablespoons dried basil
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 – 14 ounce canned dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 – 14 ounce canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained


  • Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the zucchini, and sauté until just tender – 5 to 7 minutes.
  • Transfer the zucchini to a deep stew pot.
  • Using the same skillet, heat another 1/4 cup oil.
  • Add the onions, carrots, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté until just wilted – 10 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture to the stew pot.
  • With the final ¼ cup of oil, sauté mushrooms until golden then add to the stew pot
  • Place the stew pot over low heat.
  • Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, the fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, basil, pepper, salt, fennel seeds.
  • Cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the kidney beans, chick-peas and cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Stir well, and adjust the seasonings to taste.
  • Serve with bowls of sour cream, grated cheese, and sliced scallions.

THE LOVE: The wonderful thing about veggie chili is you can use any combination of your favourite vegetables and it will be delicious. Keep the volume and weight the same if you’re using the same amount of herbs and spices.

printable recipe

one year ago: sticky spicy ribs

two years ago: cranberry orange sauce

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Love to All from Fynnigan and all the Hootons!

Thanks for reading.