Field Tomato Chili with Walnuts & Black Beans (Vegan)

I made this veggie-packed, plant-based, meatless, fiery, in-yo-face, totally rockin' chili the other day using the delectable bounty of fresh produce that's popping up all over my neighbourhood. I normally make chili using canned San Marzano tomatoes, but I thought I'd give it a try with the local field tomatoes that have taken over my kitchen counter. The result was much lighter, perfect for summertime feasting. I also tossed in my current food obsession -walnuts. They add the most incredible texture and give this chili a healthy dose of omega-3s, protein, and lend a hand in making it look authentically chili-esque.  
Since it's less than one month to my 27th birthday, I though I'd discuss the weather again, just like in my last post, because that's what those of us who are ripening like a fine peach like to do. 

Let me set the scene for you all. Ahem. Every morning, I open my kitchen window and peer out into my beautiful backyard while grinding coffee beans for my daily cup of coffee. Ahhh, pastoral. There's usually a cardinal family and chipmunk frolicking about, sometimes a bunny, maybe even a skunk. Today, my coffee grinder began to smoke; I made a mental note to purchase a new one that afternoon. Anyways, I glanced over at the thermometer and it was 10 degrees C in the shade. 10! Being an autumn junkie, I was over-the-moon. "It's the Summer of Allison!" I exclaimed, in my head.   

How do I make this weather stay nice and crisp and humidity-free? I think the answer is more chili. And soup. And hot food. Who's with me!? Not that I don't love the pounds of fresh produce that come along with the warm temperatures, I just wouldn't mind just skipping past the rest of the muggy summer weather and sliding right into back-to-school season. The moral of the story is: I don't like summer very much and I'm pining for fall already. Sweaters! Apples! Squash! Pants! Socks! Don't act like you're not excited.    
This chili was named by my favourite guy. I think he has a real knack for this recipe stuff, even though he may claim otherwise. I hope you love this summery chili as much as we did in my "chilly" neck of the woods! 

Field Tomato Chili with Walnuts & Black Beans 

Vegan, Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Oil-Free 
Serves 6


3 field tomatoes (about 3 cups), cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups (2, 14-oz cans) cooked black beans, drained and rinsed if using canned
2 yellow or green zucchini, sliced into quarters horizontally, and cut into ½-inch pieces    
2 cups unsalted or low-sodium vegetable broth or water
1 cup raw walnuts, roughly chopped (for nut-free, see notes below)
1 large sweet potato, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large white or sweet onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 bay leaf
3 tsp chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried oregano
1 to 2 tsp sea salt, to taste
ground pepper, to taste
¼ tsp chili flakes, more or less, to taste
¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Sour cream or yogurt of choice, for serving (I used this recipe from Whole Foods, letting the cashews soak for a few hours longer in boiling water)
Chopped chives or green onions, for serving 


Place all ingredients (except the sour cream and chives, for serving) in a large pot or large enameled cast-iron Dutch oven. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover half-way, and cook, stirring every 10 minutes for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat; with the back of a large serving spoon, mash a bit of the chili to thicken to broth. Stir and cook, uncovered over low heat for 5 more minutes. Serve hot with your favourite chili garnishes (sour cream, avocado, chives, cilantro, etc.)

1. This chili tastes best made a day, or even two days in advance.
2. Once cool, you can freeze the chili in zip-top bags for up to 2 months. Just be sure to get most of the air out of the bags to reduce freezer burn.
3. If you have a nut allergy, you can leave out the walnuts, replacing them with 1 cup of cooked green lentils for a similar chewy texture.


In order to comment on, you'll need to be logged in. You'll be given the option to log in or create an account when you publish your comment. If you do not log in or create an account, your comment will not be displayed.