Thursday, May 16, 2013

Vegetarian White Bean Chili

I finally gave in and turned on the air conditioning today. After all that beer last week and the rise in temperature today, I wanted to cook something full of vegetables and NO BREAD, so I ended up creating my own vegetarian white bean chili recipe. The red curry paste is the special ingredient that brought this dish together. Culturally consistent? No. Delicious? Yes. It adds a tiny bit of sweetness reminiscent of Cincinnati chili, which was the first kind I ever sampled, made by my Ohioan college roommate.

Vegetarian White Bean Chili

Ingredients (makes 4 servings):
  • 16 oz cooked cannellini beans
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tsp vegetarian red curry paste*
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
--------------Optional Toppings:
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 wedge of white cheddar cheese, grated

In a large nonstick saucepan or pot over medium heat, cook the onions in olive oil until translucent and fragrant, 5-7 minutes, then stir in the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the jalapeño pepper; you can add as much or as little as you like to control the level of spice. I found that about half a pepper with seeds in worked for me, but you might have a higher or lower tolerance for heat than I do.

Add the cannellini beans, carrots, celery, cumin, oregano, and chili powder. Continue cooking and stirring for another minute before adding the vegetable broth. Bring to a rolling boil over medium heat and let the liquid reduce and thicken while stirring occasionally for about 25 minutes. Finally, stir in the red curry paste and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Top with grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream, and serve hot! Enjoy.

*A note for vegetarians and vegans: It's important to note that some red curry paste has a shrimp or fish base, so if you're strict about not eating seafood, make sure you buy paste that doesn't contain animal ingredients. With a vegetarian curry paste and no toppings, you can make a this as a vegan chili.


  1. Mmmm sounds good I may make this in a large quantity for lunches next week.

    1. Awesome! It makes great leftovers (I know because I just ate some). Let me know if you need some curry paste- I have extra.

  2. Nice!
    I just picked up some curry paste to use in a (failed) experiment. Now this sounds like a great way to use the rest of it!

    1. Totally! In fact, my tin of paste was 4 oz, and since there's only a tsp or so in the chili it looks like I'll be making more tomorrow. ;)