Veggie & Bean Chili

As a vegetarian blogger who loves beans, I think that it is almost a necessity that I have a chili recipe on my blog. I’ve always loved a warm bowl of chili on a cold winter day, covered in melty cheddar cheese. However, as I began my blog, it was always a recipe that I would write soon and I never got around to doing so. This recently all changed, and I decided to take the plunge and write my own chili recipe. 

Of course, one of the focal points of this recipe is the beans. The homemade, well seasoned beans bring a depth of flavor to the chili that would be unattainable using regular canned beans. Additionally, to bring a smokiness to the recipe, we use a can of fire-roasted tomatoes. Another key ingredient is the corn, which brings sweetness and a vibrant pop. All of these flavors combined lead to a spicy, smokey and balanced chili. 

A few quick notes before getting into it. This recipe is written to be cooked in an instant pot, however, it is easily translatable to conventional stove top, and the addendum at the end of the recipe will explain how. Another key step of the recipe is blending some of the chili at the end to get a better texture, this is not required, but I tested both ways and preferred the blended option. I suggest eating the chili either over rice or with tortilla chips and topping the chili with grated cheddar cheese, white onion and cilantro. I hope you enjoy it!

Cook time: 90 minutes

Active time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

The beans

  • 1 lb red kidney beans
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (any non-spicy chili powder will do)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • dash of ground cloves
  • ½ tsp cayenne chili powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 7 cups water

The rest

  • 2 tbsp neutral oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 jalapeno, finely diced (seeds left in for a bit of heat)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 28oz can of diced, fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • Salt & freshly cracked black pepper
  • Suggested toppers: grated cheddar cheese, diced white onion, cilantro

Directions:

  1. Make the beans. Rinse your beans and check for any debris. Then place the beans, water and all the spices in the instant pot and pressure cook on high for 30 minutes. Once complete, let it naturally pressure release for 10 minutes before turning the valve to venting. Strain the beans and reserve a cup of the liquid they cooked in. 
  2. Give the inner instant pot bowl a quick rinse and return it to the instant pot. Turn the instant pot on to the sauté setting, once the display reads hot add the oil in and cook the onion, bell peppers, corn, jalapeno and garlic with a pinch of salt and some freshly cracked black pepper. Sauté stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are beginning to soften. 
  3. While the vegetables cook, prep the remaining spices: cumin, chili powder, coriander and cinnamon. Once the vegetables are complete, add the spices to the instant pot and stir to toast the spices on the outside of the veggies for about a minute. Once complete, turn off the instant pot. 
  4. Add in a cup of water and deglaze the bottom of the instant pot by scraping it with a wooden spoon to avoid any spices caking to the bottom. Then add in the crushed tomatoes, reserved bean liquid and a tsp of salt to the instant pot. Stir to combine, cover (I use a lid from a different pot of about equivalent size) and turn on to sauté high until it begins to bubble. Once simmering, restart the instant pot to sauté low. Let it simmer for 25 minutes. 
  5. In order to give the chili the best texture possible, blend a portion of the chili to give it a richer texture. Ladle about ⅓ of the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Return to chili and combine also adding in the lime juice. Taste for salt levels and adjust. Enjoy while hot with either rice or chips and your favorite selection of toppers. 

Conventional stove top:

  • Soak the beans for at least 5 hours before beginning to cook. Place the beans in a large bowl and cover with water until there is about 2-3 inches of water above them. Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature.
  • Once complete, drain the beans and add them to a large dutch oven with all the spices, then cover with water, once again by about 2 inches over the beans. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 30-90 minutes, checking regularly if the beans are cooked. Proceed with the rest of the recipe as written, simply using the same dutch oven to cook the chili.

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