The chill air tickles my nose as I watch the sun set from my roof deck. As I open my mouth, my breath steams out tangibly in the waning light, floating upwards and dissipating into the night sky. First frost is here, at long last, and I can almost hear the earth sighing in relief. The energy of that sigh reverberates within my very bones: a subtle, ancient, weary sort of consolation. It’s getting harder and harder for the earth to comply with the destruction wrought by humanity; easier and easier for cycles that have existed for thousands – no, millions – of years to become disrupted. I felt affected on a visceral level during the unseasonably warm weather – as if something inside of me was being stretched to a breaking point, but finally, now, the tension is being released. I let the sharp, crisp, slap-to-the-face air temperature remind me that winter is on its way. This is my favorite time of year: a time to harvest crops, build up stores of immunity support herbal remedies, and honor the ancestors as the veil thins. When the season of Death is delayed, it can feel as if we all are dealing with lingering baggage. But now that it is here at last, it’s finally time to bury that which no longer serves us, and turn our thoughts and actions towards preserving only the essentials as we move forward into rebirth and renewal. What do we need in the coming months in order to feel comforted, satisfied, and whole as we undergo that often difficult transformation process? I think of the spicy-sweet warmth of a chipotle pepper, and the groundedness of root vegetgables, whose flavors tell a rich story of deep-earth magic.
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves of garlic minced
½ large yellow onion, diced
1 medium red bell pepper, diced with seeds and stem removed
2 large beets, peeled and diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1½ cup frozen corn
2 cups vegetable broth
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 7-ounce chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons adobo sauce from same can, more to taste
1 – 14-ounce diced tomatoes
1 – 6-ounce tomato paste
1½ teaspoon dried oregano
⅛ teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chile powder
- Assemble all of the ingredients, and mince/dice the vegetables that require mincing/dicing.
- Add the olive oil to a medium-to-large sized pot, and allow it to heat for about a minute before adding the minced garlic and diced onion.
- Cook the garlic and diced onion for about a minute or two until aromatic before adding the diced red bell pepper, diced carrots, diced beets, and corn to the pot. Cook these vegetables for a few minutes until they have softened.
- Pour in the vegetable broth. Allow the vegetables to cook in the broth over medium-to-high heat for about 15 minutes until the vegetables are all tender.
- Lower the heat, then add the black beans. Stir, and let sit for a few seconds.
- Stir in the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, chipotle peppers, adobo sauce, and all the spices.
- Allow the spicy root vegetable chili to simmer for a few minutes before serving.
This recipe is 100% vegan. I’ve also made it with boca crumble (which mimics ground beef – but I actually like it way better than real ground beef!)
May the Lady Frige bless this meal.
*This recipe was adapted from a recipe I learned about through the Greensgrow Farm Winter CSA newsletter. The original recipe comes from Cooking With a Wallflower, which features a few extras that I don’t usually include (personal preference).