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Vegetable-Chickpea Chili with Fried Almonds

Alex Guarnaschelli makes this quick vegetarian chili at home on weekends and then enjoys the leftovers later in the week; she thinks the chili is even better after its mellowed in the refrigerator for a day or so. Serve with basmati rice.

Yields about 2 quarts; serves 4

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

3 medium cloves garlic, minced

1 large red onion, finely chopped

Kosher salt

1 to 2 Tbs. hot paprika

1 Tbs. chili powder

1 Tbs. ground cumin

1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes

2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 cups fresh (or frozen) corn kernels (from about 4 medium ears)

1 medium red bell pepper, quartered, cored, and thinly sliced crosswise

1 medium jalapeno, thinly sliced crosswise into rounds

½ cup sliced or slivered almonds

¼ cup small basil leaves

6 scallions (white and light-green parts only), thinly sliced; more for garnish

Sour cream, for serving (optional)

Heat 2 Tbs. of the oil in a 5- to 6-quart heavy-duty pot over medium-high heat until shimmering hot, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and onion, season with 1 tsp. salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, chili powder, and cumin, cook for 1 minute, and then add the tomatoes and their juice. Stir, smashing the tomatoes against the side of the pot to break them up slightly. Add 2 cups water and bring to a simmer. Stir in the chickpeas, corn, bell pepper, jalapeno, and 1 Tbs. salt and cook until the peppers have lost their raw crunch, 8 to 12 minutes (at this point, if the chili looks too thick, add an additional 1 cup of water).

While the vegetables cook, heat the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil in an 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and cook, stirring constantly, until golden-brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a plate lined with paper towels and immediately season them with ½ tsp. salt.

Stir the basil and scallions into the chili. Serve the chili with a dollop of sour cream (if using), more scallions, and the almonds.

The chili will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.


It is a quote. Fine Cooking Magazine October / November 2011

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