As you can probably tell from my posts, it has been a great garden year. We are still bringing in more tomatoes than I know what to do with, and I have plenty of frozen veggies from harvests earlier in the summer. With the weather turning cooler here, chili seemed like the ideal way to use them up.
My goal was to use a lot of fresh tomatoes, so this recipe does take some prep work. For me, this is just the kind of thing I enjoy doing on a quiet Sunday. Once it’s all in the slow cooker, it’s low maintenance from there on out.
Feel free to substitute different kinds of vegetables. I’ve been shredding and freezing zucchini all summer, and we also had some sweet corn tucked away in the freezer. Both ended up being a great addition to this chili.
Homemade Garden Chili Slow Cooker Recipe
6 – 8 lbs of tomatoes (you’ll need about 6 cups of sauce)
5 cloves garlic
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups black beans, soaked overnight
2 cups shredded zucchini, thawed if frozen
1 cup sweet corn, thawed if frozen
1 cup water
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 scotch bonnet peppers (or your favorite hot pepper)
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut de-stem and core tomatoes if necessary, and cut in half. (I used a mix of San Marzano, Beefsteak and heirlooms.) Arrange cut side down on a baking sheet with the garlic and drizzle with a little olive oil. In batches, roast for 20 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Add the onion and black beans to your slow cooker. Remove the skins from the tomatoes and place the pulp and the garlic cloves in a blender. Blend in batches until a smooth sauce results. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker. Set to high.
Add the zucchini and corn. Add the water. Stir in the chili powders, cumin, salt and black pepper. Take the scotch bonnet peppers and de-stem them. Cut a small slit in the side of each. Place the whole pepper in the soup. Put on the lid and cook on high for about 4 1/2 hours, or until the beans are tender.
Before serving, remove the two peppers and discard. Serve with your favorite toppings. Makes about 6 servings.