Vegetable Chili Stew

1 large white or yellow onion, coarsely chopped.
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
1 14oz can each black beans and kidney beans 1 28 oz can tomotoes (I prefer diced -- any style will do, as will any of the seasoned styles. If you want to use the preseasoned stuff, you may need two 14oz cans.) If you use whole tomotos, chop them first. If you use fresh tomatos (which I don't recommend with this dish -- you want the acid level you get from the canned variety) blanch and peel them first.
1 14oz can corn (drained) or 3 ears fresh (cut off the cob) or most of a 1lb package of frozen corn. Don't use creamed corn.
Chili powder
Tequila or mescale
Vinegar (I prefer balsamic for this, but red wine or cider vinegar also work)
Chiles or Louisiana red sauce.

Sweat the onions in a little oil (olive oil is good, but vegetable or corn oil works too) over medium heat until the onions start to look soft. Add green pepper, tomatos, corn. Add chili powder to taste (I usually make the top of the soup pot red, but don't layer it on too thick), add about 1 Tbsp (a reasonable splash) of tequila/mescale (this is optional, but I find it adds a nice smoky/spicy flavor), a splash of vinegar (1 tsp to 1 Tbsp -- I go to taste), and a couple of squirts of hot sauce. Stir and heat to boiling stirring frequently -- if you don't stir, something usually sticks and scorches. You can serve it at this point if you want to, but it's better if you let it simmer for awhile.

Serve with a sprinkle of shredded cheese and sour cream.

Gretchen M Beck
Last modified: Wed Dec 15 15:19:54 EST 2004