I have made this chili twice–once with ancho chiles and once with chili powder.
I learned that the key to making Vegetarian Chili—not a bean and vegetable stew—is adding replacements for the different ways in which meat adds depth and flavor. Hence the ingredients soy sauce, dried shiitake mushrooms, bulgur, and tomatoes below. Some people grind walnuts and add them. This is how I rigged mine.
Black and White Vegetarian Chili (Rigged)
- 1/2 pound dried navy beans, rinsed
- 1/2 pound dried black beans, rinsed
- ***2 dried or fresh ancho chiles OR 1/4 cup chili powder
- 1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped coarse
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained with juice reserved
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 – 2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 pounds onions, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 7 cups water
- 2/3 cup medium-grind bulgur
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
***If using chili powder instead of chiles, grind the shiitakes and oregano from step 2 with 1⁄4 cup of chili powder and add mixture in step 4.
1. Bring 4 quarts water, 3 tablespoons salt, and beans to boil in large Dutch oven (cast iron pot) over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans and rinse well. Wipe out pot with paper towels and set aside for later.
2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Arrange chiles on rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant and puffed, about 8 minutes. Transfer to plate and let cool, about 5 minutes. Stem and seed chiles. Grind toasted chiles, mushrooms, and oregano in spice grinder or similar method.
3. Process drained tomatoes, tomato paste, jalapeño(s), garlic, and soy sauce in blender for about 45 seconds.
4. Heat oil in now-empty Dutch oven (cast iron pot) over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions and 1- 1/4 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring occasionally until onions begin to brown for 8 to 10 minutes. Lower heat to medium and add ground chile/chili powder mixture and cumin; cook, stirring constantly until fragrant for about 1 minute. Add rinsed beans and water and bring to a boil. Cover pot, transfer to oven (still 300 degrees F), and cook for 45 minutes.
5. Remove pot from oven. Stir in bulgur, tomato mixture, and reserved tomato juice. Cover pot and return to oven. Cook until beans are fully tender, about 2 hours.
6. Remove pot from oven, stir chili well, and let stand uncovered for 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Serve the chili with lime wedges, shredded cheddar cheese, and sour cream. If desired, add diced avocado and chopped red onion.
Serves 6 to 8
If interested in more of my Rigged Recipes, click here.
Do you like your chili spicy or mild?