Packed with beans, vegetables, bulgur, and spices, no one will miss the meat in this hearty vegetarian chili.
This vegetable chili has all of the smoky seasonings of conventional beef chili, and the addition of the ancient grain bulgur gives a pleasing meat-like heartiness and texture. Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients; this dish is actually a cinch to prepare.
FOR THE SEASONING MIX
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1½ teaspoons paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CHILI
- 1 can organic black beans, 15 ounces
- 1 can organic kidney beans, 15 ounces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup peeled and chopped carrots
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ½ cup chopped red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can crushed tomatoes with juice, 28 ounces
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 bay leaf
- ¾ cup bulgur
- ½ cup frozen corn kernels
- ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, optional
For the Seasoning Mix
- Place the chili powder, oregano, red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne pepper, coriander, cumin, 1 ½ teaspoons of salt, and ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper in a small mixing bowl and stir to blend. Set aside.
For the Chili
- In a colander, combine the black beans and kidney beans.
- Rinse, drain, and set aside.
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.
- Add the onion and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the garlic, carrots, celery, and red bell pepper.
- Sauté until softened, about 10 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste, 2 cups of water, and the seasoning mix; stir until well blended.
- Add the tomatoes, vegetable broth, soy sauce, and bay leaf, and mix well.
- Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Stir in the bulgur and reduce the heat to low.
- Simmer partially covered, stirring occasionally, until the bulgur is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the beans and the corn and simmer, partially covered, for an additional 10 minutes.
- Remove and discard the bay leaf.
- Ladle the chili into individual bowls and top each with 1 tablespoon of shredded cheese.
- Serve hot.