Zesty Three-Bean Chili

It was a warm, breezy evening (typical for September here in the Bay Area) and friends were coming for dinner. I wanted to serve something that would be the perfect blend of summer meets fall. This chili recipe hit all the right notes. Fiery yet fresh, filling but still delicate. I served it with crostini and a spread of corn on the cob, roasted asparagus and fruit salad.

The recipe is simple and slightly adapted from a recipe from Cooking Light magazine.

Just gather together the following:

  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, peppers and garlic and sauté until tender and golden. Add the sugar and the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes before serving. If the flavor is too hot, you can add water to the pot, 1/2 cup at a time, until the desired flavor is reached.

Ladle into bowls and serve with crostini or freshly baked bread. I made my crostini by slicing an artisan baked rosemary slab, spreading Earth Balance buttery spread on top, toasting in the toaster oven once, sprinkling with some Daiya vegan cheese, and then toasting a second time.

Happy eating!