Transition Chili

I always find myself with mixed emotions when summer comes to a close. It’s no secret that summer is my favorite season (it’s always been), but I don’t mind fall. In fact, there are a lot of things I do enjoy about fall, like cooler running temperatures, being able to wear boots and scarves, not working up a sweat while cooking, and Halloween!

I’m looking forward to this fall because it means I get to relax – at least a little. This summer has been packed with marathon training (even if it’s been half-hearted, it still takes up a lot of time!), and a LOT of weddings. Basically, I’m looking forward to not having to wake up at the crack of dawn to run because it’s too hot and I have a million things planned for the afternoon. Yes, I can’t wait to be lazy.

Aside from cooler temperatures and new fashion, there are foods that evoke the feelings of different seasons, too. One food that makes me think of cooler weather is chili (and soups in general). Even though it’s still technically summer (I can’t handle people saying things like, “it’s officially fall!” because it in fact, is not until tomorrow), I decided to deviate a bit from my “hang on to summer for as long as possible” mantra and made a pot of chili. For me, this wasn’t just any old batch of chili, though, rather it was more of a transition from summer to fall because of the ingredients – they’re light and colorful, but still provide that quintessential big bowl of chili feeling.

Veggie Grain Chili
– serves 4-6 –  

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp Adobo
1 tsp oregano
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 15 0z. cans of beans – I used black and pinto, but any combo will work! 
4 oz. soy chorizo (or regular chorizo)
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced (smaller pieces help it cook faster)
1 ear of corn (kernels removed)
18 oz. vegetable broth (about 1.5 cans)
1 cup dry cous cous or quinoa

1. In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and poblano pepper for for 5-10 minutes, until they’re translucent. 
2. Add in the spices (chili powder, cumin, Adobo, oregano), and tomato paste. Stir constantly, cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. 
3. Stir in beans, soy chorizo, sweet potato, corn, and vegetable broth. Turn heat down to medium, and cook for 5 minutes. 
4. Add in the grain, and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes, stirring every few minutes. 
5. Serve with avocado, cilantro, cheese, and/or sour cream! 

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