The Best Vegetarian Chili - Thick and Hearty and Healthy!Prep: 45 min Cook: 3 hours Servings: 8by Foodiewife397 recipes>
I absolutely adore Chili con Carne, and I make a great batch of it-- if I do say so, myself. So, I was a bit skeptical when I saw an episode of America's Test Kitchen proclaiming that this is "The Best" Vegetarian Chili. As I began to read the ingredients, I started to open up my mind that this quite possibly could be. So, is it? I'd say that this recipe turned out to be even better than I thought. There are some surprise ingredients that give a "meatier" flavor to this vegetarian chili. It was fun making my own chili powder, and really not that difficult. I particularly liked the bulgur that is added at the end. It gives the chili a terrific texture. My son never caught on to the fact that this was a meatless chili. I think it's worthy for Super Bowl-- especially for those who are vegetarian.
- 1 pound (2 1/2 cups) dried beans, picked over and rinsed (I used pinto beans)
- 2 dried ancho chiles
- 2 dried New Mexican chiles
- 1/2 ounce dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped coarse
- 4 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
- 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained with juice reserved
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 - 2 jalapeño chiles, stemmed and coarsely chopped (I used 1)
- 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
- Bring 4 quarts water, 3 tablespoons salt, and beans to boil in large Dutch oven over high heat. Remove pot from heat, cover, and let stand for 1 hour. Drain beans and rinse well. Wipe out pot.
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Arrange anchos and New Mexican 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 anchos and New Mexican chiles. Working in batches, grind toasted chiles, mushrooms, and oregano in spice grinder or with mortar and pestle until finely ground. NOTE: I used my Vitamix blender and got great results!
- Process walnuts in food processor until finely ground, about 30 seconds. Transfer to bowl.
- Process drained tomatoes, tomato paste, jalapeño(s)*, garlic, and soy sauce in food processor until tomatoes are finely chopped, about 45 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.
- NOTE: *I used one whole jalapeno and the chili was borderline super spicy. If you prefer a milder chili (as I do), I recommend using only 1/2 a jalapeno.
- Heat oil in now-empty Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering.
- Add onions and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to brown, 8 to 10 minutes.
- Lower heat to medium and add ground chile mixture and cumin; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add rinsed beans and water and bring to boil. Cover pot, transfer to oven, and cook for 45 minutes.
- Remove pot from oven. Stir in bulgur, ground walnuts, tomato mixture, and reserved tomato juice. Cover pot and return to oven. Cook until beans are fully tender, about 2 hours.
- Remove pot from oven, stir chili well, and let stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve. (Chili can be made up to 3 days in advance.)
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