Quick And Comforting: Vegan White Bean Chili
White Bean Chili
This comforting and unpretentious dish comes together quickly—in less than 40 minutes if you use canned beans—and with no fussy work necessary.
As much as I appreciate the convenience of canned beans, I prefer to start from scratch, soaking and cooking my own. They taste much better that way, they’re not as salty, and I don’t have to ponder the BPA issue.
It is a good idea to buy beans from a high-turnover store; chances are, they will be fresher and won’t take forever to cook. Before you soak the beans, inspect them and remove any cracked or discolored ones. This is best done in one layer on a baking pan or a tray.
- Serves 4
- 1 cup dry white beans, or 2 14-ounce cans white beans, drained, rinsed
- 1 medium dried ancho chili
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup corn, fresh or frozen
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or honey
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- Black pepper, freshly ground to taste
- Crème fraîche or sour cream for garnish (optional)
- Soak the beans overnight or for 8–12 hours in 4 cups of water. The next day, drain the beans into a colander. In a medium stockpot, cover the beans with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat, cover the pot partially with a lid, and simmer until soft, about 45–60 minutes. This amount will yield about 3 cups of cooked beans.
- Place the ancho chili in a small bowl and pour boiling water over it. Let soak for 20–30 minutes. Remove it from the water, cut off the stem and slice horizontally. Leave the seeds in if you like your chili spicy, or scrape them off completely. Chop the pepper finely.
- In a medium stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and add the onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and salt. Sauté, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add the beans, tomatoes, corn, maple syrup and vinegar. Simmer over low heat, partially covered, for 20 minutes. Taste for salt, and add black pepper to taste. Serve with a dollop of the crème fraîche.
- The chili will keep, refrigerated, for 4–5 days. Thin it with some water or stock when reheating.