Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

This is a spicy salt free vegetarian chili, great on its own or spooned over couscous. Pre-soaking and cooking the dry beans takes a little bit of time, but is well worth it. Make sure to buy your beans from a market with good turnover, otherwise they’ll take forever to cook. In a pinch you can use canned no-salt-added black beans, adding a combination of wine and water instead of the reserved cooking liquid.

Serves 6.

SODIUM CONTENT: 41.5 mg per serving


1 lb. (1 16-oz. pkg, about 2 cups) dry black beans, soaked overnight in 6 c. water, drained and rinsed
7 c. water
1 c. red wine
2 T. minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
3 bay leaves
1 T. dried oregano
1 T. dried basil

2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. diced green bell pepper (about 1 med/lg)
1 c. diced onion (1 med onion)
1/2 c. diced celery (1-2 stalks)
1 T. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 28-oz. can no-salt-added whole tomatoes, drained, liquid reserved, and diced (available at Trader Joe’s markets and elsewhere)
1 jalapeno pepper with seeds, minced
1 T. ground cumin
1/2 T. ground coriander
1 t. dried oregano
1/8 t. ground allspice
freshly ground black pepper to taste


Place beans in a large stock pot. Add water, wine, bay leaves, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to med-low and simmer 1 hour and 15 minutes, until beans are tender. Drain beans, reserving liquid, and set aside.

Add oil to the pot and heat over high. Add green pepper, onion, celery and garlic and cook, stirring, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to med-low. Add the beans, tomatoes and reserved tomato juice, minced jalapeno, seasonings and 1 1/4 cup of the reserved bean liquid. Stir well to combine, then cover pot and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot, garnished with sour cream and cilantro if desired.

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