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If you’re lucky enough to have nutrient-rich, garden-fresh vegetables on hand, here’s a recipe that capitalizes on their good flavor. The recipe is courtesy of the excellent chefs at Heifer Farm in Rutland, Mass., who have a special knack for making the very most of their harvests.

Heifer Farm Veggie Chili

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 ½ cups bell peppers, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 2 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 cups corn
  • 1 ½ cups of cooked black beans*
  • 1 ½ cups of cooked pinto beans*
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Optional additions:

  • 1 pound of cooked ground beef
  • 4 cups winter squash, cut into half-inch cubes
  • 1-2 zucchini or summer squash, diced
  • hot peppers, to taste

*Beans can be canned or dried. If using canned, use one can of each kind. If using dried, soak ½ cup of each kind overnight. Drain the soaking water, cover with fresh water and cook approximately 90 minutes. Drain, and add to chili.

  1. Heat oil in the bottom of a large pot and sauté onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers and garlic and sauté a few minutes more.
  2. Add spices.
  3. Add tomatoes, corn and any other vegetables, if using.
  4. Add beans and beef, if using.
  5. Add water and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 45 minutes to an hour.
  6. Add salt, pepper, and seasonings to taste.

Serve with fresh chives, shredded cheese and sour cream.


Liz Joseph

Liz Joseph works at Heifer Farm in Rutland, Mass., managing the organic gardens, beekeeping and maple sugaring. Known as Liz Jo around the farmyard, she enjoys all things farming as well as learning new skills, cooking (and eating!), writing and laughing.