This is a very “meaty” vegetarian chili, made with vegetarian sausage, pinto beans and lentils. The balance is very nice, and you can serve a crowd on a very limited budget with this pot of chili.
- 1 1/2 c dry pinto beans, sorted and washed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-28 oz can whole tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 c fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 Tbsp mild chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp dried crushed oregano leaves
- 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder (optional)
- 1/2 tsp annatto (optional)
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp hot chili powder (or hot sauce to taste)
- 2 c vegetarian broth
- 1-15 oz can corn with liquid
- 1 c vegetarian sausage crumbles
- 1/2 c brown lentils
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- Soak the beans overnight in water to cover by 2 inches, stirring in the salt.
- In the same soaking water, cook the beans in a pressure cooker or pot until tender, following package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Place the tomatoes and cilantro in a blender and pulse a few times until pureed. Set aside.
- In a large heavy pot on low heat, warm the oil and saute the carrot, celery and onions for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic, bay leaf, chili powder, cumin, oregano, cocoa, annatto, paprika, and red chili powder. Saute one minute.
- Pour in the pureed tomatoes, vegetable broth, corn, sausage crumbles, cooked pinto beans, and brown lentils. Stir well and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
- Stir again, reduce heat to lowest setting and cover.
- Simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot to keep the lentils from sticking.)
- Simmer uncovered for another 20 minutes to reduce the liquid.
- Stir in the black pepper and serve hot with tortillas or bread.