Homemade Vegetarian Chili

The smoky, complex flavor of this simple vegetarian chili comes from basic pantry ingredients, vegetables and spices! It makes great leftovers, too. Recipe yields 4 large or 6 moderate servings of chili.

Homemade Vegetarian Chili

INGREDIENTS
  1. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 medium red onion, chopped
  3. 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  4. 2 medium carrots, chopped
  5. 2 ribs celery, chopped
  6. ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  7. 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  8. 2 tablespoons chili powder*
  9. 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  10. 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika*
  11. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  12. 1 large can (28 ounces) or 2 small cans (15 ounces each) diced tomatoes**, with their juices
  13. 2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, rinsed and drained
  14. 1 can (15 ounces) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  15. 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  16. 1 bay leaf
  17. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnishing
  18. 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or lime juice, to taste
  19. Garnishes: chopped cilantro, sliced avocado, tortilla chips, sour cream or crème fraîche, grated cheddar cheese, etc.

INSTRUCTIONS
  • In a large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, warm the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chopped onion, bell pepper, carrot, celery and ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Stir to combine and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, the drained black beans and pinto beans, vegetable broth and bay leaf. Stir to combine and let the mixture come to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally and reducing heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer, for 30 minutes. Remove the chili from the heat.