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All-Bean Chili

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  • 2 c Black or red kidney or other beans; sorted and
  • Soaked
  • 2 ts Epazote; optional
  • 4 ts Cumin seeds
  • 2 ts Dried oregano
  • Preferably Mexican
  • 3 Onions; finely diced
  • 3 tb Vegetable oil
  • 4 Garlic cloves; coarsely chopped
  • Salt
  • 4 ts Sweet paprika
  • 2 tb Ground red chile; up to 3
  • 2 c Peeled and seeded and chopped tomato; juice reserved
  • 1 ts Pureed chipotle chile; up to 2
  • 1/4 c Chopped cilantro
  • A dash of red wine or sherry vinegar
  • Sour cream
  • 1 Poblano or long green chile
  • Roasted and peeled and sliced
  • Cilantro sprigs


WHILE there's something especially alluring about black beans, other beans can be used with great success here, such as Jacobs cattle, pinto, or red kidney. Bean chili will keep for 4 to 5 days. To rewarm, thin it with a little water, heat it gently, and be sure to taste before serving. A splash of vinegar will wake it up if it seems dull.
Drain the beans. Put them in a soup pot, add the epazote and fresh water to cover by 4 inches, and boil for 5 to 10 minutes. Remove any surface scum. Lower the heat and simmer, partially covered. While they're cooking, toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat. When they turn fragrant, add the oregano, shaking the pan so that the herbs don't burn, for about 5 seconds. Turn them onto a plate to cool, then grind to a powder.
Saute the onions in the oil in a skillet over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, the cumin mixture, paprika, and ground chile. Lower the heat and cook until the onions are soft, another 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and juice, 1 teaspoon chipotle puree, and the cilantro. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add this mixture to the beans.
Continue cooking until the beans are completely soft, about 30 minutes altogether, making sure the water level stays at least an inch or two above them. Taste and season with more chipotle and salt, if needed, and add a dash of vinegar to the flavors. Ladle the beans into bowls and garnish with a spoonful of sour cream, the chile strips, and a sprig of cilantro.
Per serving: 86 Calories (kcal); 7g Total Fat; (70% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 6g Carbohydrate; 0mg Cholesterol; 2mg Sodium Food Exchanges: 0 Grain(Starch); 0 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates
Recipe by: Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, page 323
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