Vegetarian White Bean Chili
Yield: Serves 4-6
This hearty, flavor-packed vegetarian chili is sure to please everyone around your table—even the most adamant beef-and-bean traditionalists. Pureeing a portion of the soup once the beans have been added adds richness and body to the broth, while charring the tomatillos delivers bold, smoky flavor.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2onion, finely chopped (about a cup)
- 1poblano pepper, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 5cloves of garlic, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 tbsp)
- 8 ounces fresh tomatillos
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 tsp. salt, divided
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 6 cups water
- 2(15.5-ounce) cans cannellini or great northern beans, drained and rinsed
- 4 cups corn, from the cob or frozen
- Chopped cilantro, fresh avocado, sliced radishes, cheddar cheese, pickled jalapeños, lime wedges and hot sauce, for topping
How to Make It
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and poblano pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, then add garlic and 1/2 tsp of the salt and continue cooking until onions, peppers, and garlic are very tender, about 10 more minutes. If they begin to brown, reduce heat slightly.
Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet over high until it begins to smoke. Place tomatillos in the skillet and cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes, or until they begin to blacken. Continue cooking, rotating every minute or so, until tomatillos feel like water balloons when gently squeezed (with tongs), and are beginning to burst. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.
Add cumin, cayenne, and sweet smoked paprika to the onion mixture, and cook another minute. Add apple cider vinegar and cook, stirring, until the liquid is evaporated, then stir in 6 cups of water and remaining 2 tablespoons of the salt and the blended tomatillos. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add beans.
Cook for 10 minutes, until beans are very tender, then ladle about 1/3 of the soup into the blender and puree until smooth; return the pureed soup to the pot. Add corn and bring to a boil and cook another 10 minutes, until soup thickens slightly. Adjust seasonings to taste. Divide among bowls and serve with toppings.
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