This recipe provides opportunities for a lot of variation. The spice measures are really inexact (instead of “tablespoons”, I tend to use “mound on palm”, for example. :) ). The ingredients can be played with endlessly, even to the point of making minestrone instead of chili. :) (Just add some macaroni and you’re there, practically.)



  1. Heat oil in a large soup kettle or stock pot over medium heat. Sauté onions, carrots, and garlic until tender.

  2. Stir in chopped vegatables, celery, green chilies, and dry spices. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes.

  3. Open cans and dump into pot. Add enough broth to your taste/desire. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to medium. Cover, and simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.

  4. Before serving, remove bay leaves!


I modified this a bit to remove the bell peppers for dietary reasons. Also, the original recipe served 8, I needed to serve 10-12.

I made this in the morning/early afternoon, and it sat until evening. I think this really made the spices bloom and the flavour was great. Make well ahead of the meal you’re serving this for, then, is my strong suggestion.

Also, one time I made this, I opened a can of cream-style corn by mistake. It went in quite nicely, just left out a little broth.

This is a fairly mild chili as far as heat goes. You can obviously make it heat up with habaneros, jalapenos, or chipotles. It might be interesting to substitute a bottle of salsa for the two cans of tomatoes. Experiment!