Southwest Vegetarian Chili

Southwest Vegetarian Chili

The city meets the sagebrush in this aromatic and flavorful Southwest-inspired lentil and kidney bean vegetarian chili. The secret here is the fried pine nuts that add an irresistible smoky little crunch to the herb and spice chili seasonings. Make sure to use dried oregano, sage and thyme instead of fresh for their added pungency.

Southwest vegetarian chili Southwest Vegetarian Chili
Recipe by
Cuisine: Southwest American
Published on July 16, 2007

An aromatic and smoky Southwest-inspired lentil and kidney bean vegetarian chili with fried pine nuts and a pungent assortment of dried herbs

Print this recipePrint this recipe

  • 1/2 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or defrosted frozen corn
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
  • sour cream or fresh grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
  • Rinse the red kidney beans and soak 8 hours or overnight covered in several inches of cold water with a little yogurt whey or lemon juice added. Drain and rinse, and remove to a medium saucepan and cover with several inches of fresh cold water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover, simmering for 1 1/2 hours or until tender but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.

  • Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, drop in the pine nuts and stir until golden brown. Remove from the oil using a slotted spoon and set aside.

  • While the oil is still hot, add the yellow bell pepper, jalapeño peppers, onion and garlic and stir for a couple of minutes. Turn the heat down to medium and stir for a couple of minutes more, until the onion begins to brown.

  • Stir in the spices and herbs quickly to coat the vegetables, then pour in the lentils, red kidney beans, tomatoes, parsley, and 4 1/2 cups of water. Turn up the heat now and stir to mix the chili while bringing it to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover, and cook gently for 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

  • Mix the cornmeal with a little water and then pour into the chili along with the corn and balsamic vinegar. Stir in while bringing the mixture to a simmer again. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes to let the corn cook, stirring occasionally.

  • Stir in the pine nuts and salt, and taste for seasonings. Serve hot with a dollop of sour cream or grated Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese over the top of each bowl, and a slice of homemade cornbread on the side.

Makes 6 to 8 servings
Southwest Vegetarian Chili

1 comment:

Scott said...

I just made this for dinner, and it was fantastic. Thanks for the great recipe!