Vegetarian Chili

Warm up with a pot of chili featuring a bean that’s a perfect spokes-vegetable for National Heart Month.

Vegetarian Chili

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Kidney beans are packed with benefits for a healthy heart. Soluble fiber to help lower blood cholesterol and glucose levels; B-complex vitamins to help your body create new red blood cells; and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation, which can damage blood vessels. That’s why this recipe is a double feature for anyone looking to boost heart health during National Heart Month. Not only does the recipe offer a spicy chili starring the wholesome legume, but look no further than the first two steps for a how-to in flavoring the heart-healthy bean for any dish.

Vegetarian Chili
(Makes 4 servings)

vegetarian chili, cilantro, and tortilla chips
Photo from The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook by Igor Brotto and Olivier Guiriec. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Soaking time 24 hours (see tip 1)
Preparation time 50 minutes
Cooking time 2 hours


Beans (see tip 1)

  • 1¾ cups dried kidney beans
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • ½ onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 bouquet garni (see tip 2)


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 small green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 hot chile peppers, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (28-ounce) diced tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips
  • Lime wedges


  1. In bowl, cover dried beans with at least 4 inches of cold water. Cover and let soak for 24 hours. Drain beans and transfer to large pot.
  2. Add carrot, ½ onion, garlic, bouquet garni, and water to cover by at least 3 inches. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently until beans are almost tender, about 50 minutes. Drain well. Discard carrot, onion, garlic, and bouquet garni.
  3. In pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add finely chopped onions and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add red bell pepper, green bell pepper, garlic, chile peppers, and cumin, and cook, stirring, until peppers are softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in tomatoes, vegetable stock, and beans. Add enough reserved tomato juice to thin, as necessary. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to boil, stirring. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro to taste, cover and simmer until beans are tender and flavors are blended, about 5 minutes.
  5. Serve with tortilla chips and lime wedges to squeeze overtop.

Tip 1:

In place of dried beans, you can use two 14- to 19-ounce cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed, and skip Steps 1 and 2.

Tip 2:

Bouquet garni is a small bundle of herbs tied together with kitchen string. It is used to add flavor to a simmere or boiled mixture and is generally discarded before the dish is served. Often includes parsley, thyme, and bay leaves but can also include any of your favorite herbs that complement the flavors of your dish.

Cover for The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook.

Recipe from The Vegetarian Kitchen Table Cookbook by Igor Brotto and Olivier Guiriec. © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

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