This Thursday is National Chili Day and with colder temps and snow back in our faces it couldn't be better time to warm up to a bowl of hearty chili. We like this veggie option from Liz Neumark, the author of "Sylvia’s Table" and the founder of catering company, Great Performances.

Sylvia’s Table Vegetarian Chili
Serves 4 to 6:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 ½ cups chopped onions
3 carrots, chopped 1 cup
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 or 3 serrano peppers (depending on taste), seeded and minced
1 medium zucchini, diced
3 ears of corn, kernels removed (2cups)
1 cup sliced okra (optional; use frozen if it is out of season)
1 ½ pounds (about 5 large) Portobello mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean and cubed
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
3 cups cooked or canned black beans rinsed and drained
One 15 - ounce can tomato sauce
1 cup vegetable stock (homemade recipe on page 38 Sylvia’s Table Cookbook) or good quality store bought
¼ cup chopped cilantro leaves
Sour cream, diced avocado chopped scallions, for serving

Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, bell pepper, garlic, and serrano peppers and cook, stirring until soft about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini, corn, okra and mushrooms and cook, stirring until the vegetables are soft, give off their liquid and begin to brown about 6 minutes.
Add chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and cayenne and cook stirring until fragrant about 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and stir well. Add the beans, tomato sauce and vegetable stock, stir well, and bring just to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
Remove chili from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
To serve, ladle the chili into individual bowls and top each serving off with a dollop of sour cream, a spoonful of avocado, and a sprinkling of scallions.

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