Prep 30 mins
Cook 30 mins
This is far and away my favorite vegetarian chili. The recipe is based loosely on the "All-Bean Chili" in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but I've added a lot of veggies so that it's no longer all-bean. It is a very flexible recipe -- you can change up the types of beans, the vegetables, and certainly the amount of spice. It also comes together pretty quickly, which is nice. This is definitely a staple in my winter cooking -- it's so hearty and delicious people have no idea they just ate a healthy vegan meal!
- 1 dried chipotle chile
- 4 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 onions
- 2 bell peppers
- 1 (8 ounce) package mushrooms
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons red chili powder
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 (25 ounce) can kidney beans
- 1 (25 ounce) can black beans
- 1 dash red wine, sherry vinegar or 1 dash red wine vinegar
- In a small bowl, cover the dried chipotle with boiling water and let soak while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until fragrant (probably less than a minute). Add the oregano and continue toasting, shaking continuously, for 5 more seconds. Pour the mixture onto a plate to cool. If you have a mortar and pestle, grind the mixture up a bit.
- In a large pot, saute the vegetables in the olive oil. I find the fastest way to do this is to chop and add things to the pot as I go along -- it's not a fussy recipe. While the olive oil is heating, I chop the onions and throw them inches As they start to cook, I chop the bell peppers and add them to the pot. Then I chop the mushrooms and add them. Last in is the garlic, which you can either chop or smash.
- Add the salt, the cumin-and-oregano mixture, the paprika, and the ground chili. Cook on low, stirring fairly often, for a few minutes. The pot should be uncovered (not just now, but for the whole recipe).
- Mash up the chipotle a bit, so that some of its juice gets into the water in which it is soaking. Add this soaking water to the pot. If you like things spicy, you can also add some of the chipotle itself.
- Add the can of tomatoes (including the juice), the bay leaves, and the cilantro.
- Simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Drain and rinse the beans and add them to the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Using an immersion blender, pulse the chili so that there are still plenty of chunks, but the background texture is somewhat pureed. (Try to avoid grinding up the bay leaves.) To me this is a very important step, because it creates the texture that I like. If you don't have an immersion blender, you can puree a couple of cups of the chili in a blender and then add them back to the pot.
- Simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
- Add a dash of vinegar or red wine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve and enjoy! I usually eat this mixed with a bit of brown rice. It also goes well with all the typical chili garnishes.