3/4 cup olive oil
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 can (35 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, with their juice
1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
1 diced hot pepper
2 tablespoons good-quality chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 cup canned dark red kidney beans, drained
1 cup canned chick-peas (garbanzos), drained
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
4 scallions, white bulb and 3 inches green, sliced on the diagonal
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, and sauté until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté until just wilted, about 10 minutes.
On low heat, add the canned tomatoes and their juice, the fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, pepper, salt, and parsley. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.
Finally, stir in the kidney beans, chick-peas and lemon juice, cooking for another 30 minutes. Stir well, and adjust the seasonings to taste.
Turn the chili to low heat... and take this chance to butter your bread, pop it in the toaster-oven, and watch it brown for 7 minutes.
Serve with bowls of sour cream (I added some paprika to ours), grated cheese, extra parsley, and sliced scallions alongside.