Recipe for all-bean vegetarian chili

Serves 8

2 tablespoons canola oil
3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 red, orange, or yellow bell peppers, cored and chopped
1 small chili pepper, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Salt and black pepper, to taste
¼ cup tomato paste
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes
3 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans, drained but not rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 cup medium-grain bulgur
2 cups water
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 ripe avocados, halved, seeded, sliced, and sprinkled with juice of 1 lemon
Hot sauce (for sprinkling)

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1. In a soup pot over medium-high heat, heat canola oil. Add onions and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, bell peppers, and chili pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes or until it begins to brown.

3. Pour in red wine and soy sauce, scraping the bottom of the pan to release browned bits. Add tomatoes, kidney beans, bay leaf, bulgur, and water. Bring liquids to a boil. Reduce the heat, set the cover on askew, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often so that the bulgur does not stick to the bottom of the pan.

4. Discard the bay leaf. Taste for seasoning, and add more salt and black pepper, if you like. Ladle into bowls and garnish with scallions, cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce.  Karoline Boehm Goodnick

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