Chili for Chilly Weather

I don’t mean to alarm you, but there is a very real threat to the whole northeastern area right now, encompassing hundreds of miles and countless souls. Snow, the frozen menace that has become the bane of my existence, has re-entered the conversation after months of blissful warmth. No longer can mere sunshine keep us safe from that fluffy white terror, as current predictions indicate a chance of flurries at any point this week. Sure, it’s nowhere near a definitive statement of fact nor are the conditions expected to be severe, but the mere suggestion has set me on high alert. Glancing up at the sky tentatively every hour or so, just to make sure that nothing is falling out there, I feel a bit like Chicken Little, having histrionics about an absurd implausibility.

Truth be told, the basic concept of snow is actually quite enchanting, especially the first snow of the year, lightly dusting the world like confectioner’s sugar atop a dense, dark bundt cake of earth. This vision of gentle elegance prevents me from hating it thoroughly and unconditionally. An intolerance of cold hits much closer to the heart of my vitriol- Visible, tangible flakes in the air are just easy scapegoats when the going gets tough and the temperatures plunge. Whether or not those ominous clouds decide to open up and let loose a wave of frozen precipitation, one this is certain: It will be cold.

A forecast that promises highs of no greater than 40 degrees at the most is my call to arms. Fighting off that assault is only possible by warming oneself from the inside out and thus, I return to the kitchen for ammunition. Only the heartiest, most rib-sticking dishes need enlist for the task. At times like these, nothing but a big bowl of chili will do.

Contrary to my usual approach of going heavy on the vegetables, this wicked red brew is a real meat-lover’s delight, made with vegan sensibilities of course. It also happens to be the easiest, quickest chili I’ve ever slapped together, thanks to the convenience of ready-to-eat spicy Andouille-style “sausages.” Not even beans are invited to this party this time, creating a rich, ultra-meaty chili that I’d like to think would make a pure-bred Texan proud. Packing in the heat with every fiery bite, it’s impossible to feel one degree of winter chill with this fortifying stew on your side.

Easy, Meaty Vegan Chili

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Large Red Onion, Finely Chopped
3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
2 14-Ounce Packages Artisan Tofurky Adouille Sausages
2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 28-Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
2 1/2 Cups Mushroom Broth
Salt and Pepper

Toss the olive oil and chopped onion into a large soup pot over medium heat on the stove. Saute for 4 – 5 minutes, until the onion has softened and is fragrant, before introducing the minced garlic. Cook for another 4 – 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the aromatics are lightly browned.

Meanwhile, place the “sausages” in the work bowl of your food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped, much like chunky ground meat. If you have a smaller machine, you may want to do this in two (or even three) batches. Be careful not to overdo it, since “meat” puree is definitely not what we want here! Once properly processed, add the “sausage” crumbles into the pot along with the vinegar, chili powder, tomatoes, and 2 cups of the broth. Stir well to combine.

Turn down the heat to low and let simmer gently for 45 – 60 minutes, allowing plenty of time for the flavors to meld. Stir every 10 – 15 minutes to make sure that nothing is sticking and burning on the bottom of the pot, and add in the remaining broth when it begins to look too dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Makes 6 – 8 Hearty Servings

Printable Recipe


39 thoughts on “Chili for Chilly Weather

  1. It’s sounding good here, Hannah. We had snow last night as you can see if you have time to see my post today, just enough to look lovely but not enough to be annoying. And it’s cold, at least for today. Soups, stews and chili are sounding mighty good right now, so your recipe is very timely. Keep warm and enjoy your day!


  2. I will hit up Isa to see what I can rustle up in the homemade sausage stakes to see if I can’t get this same sort of result but I fear it might be beans and veg for this long suffering vegan ;)

      1. Oh gosh, I completely forgot about that. But I’m seeing my brother in the US in early January, so I don’t think I can get more time off work :(

  3. Hannah, living on the equator, I really long for cold (ok maybe cooler) weather. So when you talk of snow flakes, you’re just making me jealous :)

  4. I feel exactly as you do about snow! It’s a love/hate relationship. I love the first dusting and then the honeymoon is over and I begin to dread the inevitable blizzard coming next. After Christmas, I am so done with winter and long for warm breezes and palm trees! Your chili recipe looks great and will help to warm the soul. :-)

  5. Chili and cornbread, such an awesome combo for the colder weather! I’ve eaten plenty of Tofurky sausages but I don’t remember seeing the Artisan ones. I’ll have to look for it next time I’m at the store.

    1. If you can only find their original “Gourmet” line of sausages, I have a feeling that the Kielbasa-style could work really well here, too. Just adjust spices and seasonings to taste. In fact, I may just have to try that swap anyway since this version was such a hit, and I’ve had a hard time finding the Artisan options around here, too.

  6. We dont get snow in Singapore so the concept of snow has always been enchanting for me.

    It’s great to keep warm with chilli and stews. It does look and sound really delicious! And so simple too!

  7. Winter & its snow-ness can just go away, please & thank you! I feel like a little part of my withered away during the cold front this week. Lows in the 20s is far too low for me!

    But this chili looks like a great way to warm up! If I can find those sausages anywhere then I’ll definitely have to try the recipe out!

  8. The weather in Philly wasn’t too bad – low 50s as long as you are bundled up! Two days ago, it was low 40s and high 30s in the evening. I love cold weather – especially snow. I love Tofurky’s sausages – yum – that meaty chili looks fantastic and perfect for the cold wintery days and love that you use mushroom broth instead of just veggie broth!

  9. Hannah,
    i JUST had Tofurky Seth on my show and we talked about YOUR recipe!
    When i get home, i’m gonna bolt the doors, put my spongebob jammy bottoms on, a Jimi Hendrix tshirt W-A-Y older than you…i’m going to put up a pot of THIS while listening to…hmmm, probably an old Weather Report album or Jade Warrior… while it’s cooking, I’ll hang out with Rhee au Rheet ,Miss Angie Coconose Floorwalker and The Lovely Ms Bun-E-Face……..then E-N-J-O-Y what i KNOW will be some delicious chili !!!!!
    thank YOU!!!!!

    1. Ah ha, what great timing! I’m so delighted that you chili got a shout-out on your show, but even happier to hear that you’re into the recipe, too. Hope you did get a chance to chill out and enjoy the chili. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it! :)

  10. I really really wish people would STOP using words like “meaty” to describe vegan foods. It does such a disservice to the concept of meat-free.

  11. You are so cute! I love snow, and really miss being in the mountains sometimes (though not caught in blizzards!). I think you just need to rival your dad for the thermostat :) There’s nothing better than being all warm and snuggly inside with a mug of tea as the snow falls. Nothing. Better.

    Either way, that recipe looks delicious and I’m totally craving chili!

  12. I really, really love snow. That is, until it’s a few inches deep and I can’t go to work, and it turns to ice and I’m terrified of falling over! But big thick stews are the only solution to winter gripes – it makes you appreciate the comfiness that you can only really get in winter!

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