Spicy chili features five kinds of beans

Dinner Tonight

December 19, 2007|By Donna Pierce | Donna Pierce,Chicago Tribune

I'll never forget dorm chili debates during my freshman year at Stephens College in Missouri. My classmates from Texas were horrified with the concept of including tomatoes and beans in a chili recipe. This was a culture shock for me, having grown up with black-bean chili made with ground chuck, hot peppers and tomatoes.

A suitemate from upstate New York introduced me to this version, made without meat. It changed my attitude. Since then, I've tweaked the spices and beans several times. But each time I make it, it reminds me of the first time I sampled this spicy chili.

Donna Pierce writes for the Chicago Tribune, which provided the recipe analysis.

Five-Bean Vegetarian Chili

Serves 8 -- Total time: 40 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 each, chopped: sweet onion, green bell pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 each, finely chopped: drained chipotle peppers, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 can (about 16 ounces) each, drained: black beans, garbanzo beans, red kidney beans, white kidney beans, cannellini or butter beans

1 can (14 ounces) vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 tablespoon chile powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon each: salt, dried thyme leaves, red-pepper flakes

freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add celery, onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until vegetables soften, about 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, 1 minute.

Stir in chipotle peppers and sun-dried tomatoes. Add crushed tomatoes, beans, vegetable broth, water, chile powder, cumin, oregano, salt, thyme, red-pepper flakes and black pepper to taste.

Heat to a boil over medium-high heat; lower heat to a simmer. Cover; cook, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Per serving: 324 calories, 6 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 59 grams carbohydrate, 15 grams protein, 1,510 milligrams sodium, 18 grams fiber

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