Deep and Smoky Vegetarian Chili

Deep and Smoky Vegetarian Chili

A decent vegetarian chili is really rather easy to do, and a good choice for not only seasoned vegetarians, but also for those cooks who are new to vegetarian cooking, and those faced with the prospect of cooking for a vegetarian but perhaps rather puzzled about what to prepare. And chili is an ideal meal solution anytime of year that is nearly guaranteed to please almost everyone at the table. Once the prep is done, it's basically just a matter of letting things simmer gently for a while and occasionally giving it a stir. It's pure comfort food on a cold winter day, and over the hot summer months, because you don't have to labor over the hot pot, it's great too, and a nice thick chili like this one can be served over tortilla chips along with other toppings for some loaded nachos.

But, a really good vegetarian chili is one that requires a bit more patience and thought, and though this one really comes together in hardly anytime at all, it has some extra touches, such as the addition of walnuts for additional texture, protein, and an hint of nuttiness that compliments the smokier elements. I've also added sun-dried tomatoes for a deeper flavor along with diced tomatoes. The main sources of protein are plump red kidney beans and earthy black beans, and as usual with chili, there are a variety of vegetables featured, including succulent mushrooms, carrots and peppers, and of course, because this was a creation of Lisa's Kitchen, plenty of spices and hot chilies, and some fresh and dried herbs too. Overall, this is a satisfying chili with a complexity of flavors you won't soon forget.

Smoky Vegetarian Chili

Deep and Smoky Vegetarian ChiliDeep and Smoky Vegetarian Chili
Recipe by
Published on September 3, 2019

Easy, rich, smoky and hearty red kidney and black bean vegetarian chili

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 minutes

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  • 2/3 cup dried red kidney beans (2 cups cooked or 1 19 oz can)
  • 1/2 cup dried black beans (1 1/2 cups cooked or 1 14 oz can)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 fresh red chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 12 oz (350 g) white mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 cup raw walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, stems and leaves, finely chopped + extra for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine or vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tablespoon tamari (soy) sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 28 oz (830 mL) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • Rinse the kidney and black beans in a strainer under cold water. Transfer to a large saucepan, cover with water, and soak for 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse, then transfer back to the saucepan and cover with fresh water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the beans are tender, roughly 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

  • Wipe the saucepan dry and add the olive oil. Heat over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic and carrot, and sauté for 10 minutes until the onion is softened.

  • Toss in the chilies, red pepper, mushrooms and walnuts. Stir for another few minutes, then toss in the cilantro, spices, herbs and bay leaf, and stir well to coat.

  • Now add the sun-dried tomatoes, red wine or vegetable stock, tamari and balsamic vinegar, and simmer for a few minutes, stirring often. Add the tomatoes, stir well to incorporate, and simmer for another 5 minutes to thicken the sauce.

  • Stir in the beans, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for another 10 to 15 minutes until the desired thickness is achieved. Add more water if the chili is seems to thick.

  • Stir in the salt and pepper, and adjust seasoning according to taste. Garnish with additional fresh chopped cilantro if desired, and serve hot.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

Vegetarian Chili

Other one-pot meals you may enjoy from Lisa's Kitchen:
Black Bean and Quinoa Mexican-Style Chipotle Vegetarian Chili
Black Bean Chili with Mushrooms and Toasted Spices
Hearty Vegetarian Beet Borscht with Lentils, Quinoa and Fresh Dill
Vegetarian Pumpkin Chili with Azuki Beans, Barley and Mushrooms
Red Kidney Bean Jambalaya

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