Vegetarian Bean Chili

(Adapted from Lorna Sass’ Complete Vegetarian Kitchen, Triple Bean Maybe It’s Chili recipe)
This recipe utilizes the pressure cooker, making this a quick, go-to recipe for those on a tight time schedule. TIP: For busy cooks, just set the beans to soak while at work and they will be ready to cook at the end of the day.

NOTE: The pressure cooker greatly decreases cooking time and intensifies the flavor of food. It is a practical kitchen tool, (click on this link to learn more about how to use a pressure cooker), especially when you are trying to provide healthy, nutritious meals but you don’t have a lot of time to spend in the kitchen.


  • 1C pinto beans (rinsed and soaked for 4-8 hrs.)
  • 1C kidney beans (rinsed and soaked for 4-8 hrs.)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 4 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp. whole cumin seeds
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 tsp. dried leaf oregano
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (wear rubber gloves when handling, also cut in a well-ventilated area), or a generous pinch of crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 2 C water, approximately
  • ½ C finely chopped parsley or 2 T dried parsley
  • Sea Salt or soy sauce, to taste (Ohsawa brand Organic Nama Shoyu is a delicious soy sauce)

Recipe Steps

1. Drain and rinse the pinto and kidney beans and set aside.

2. Heat oil in the pressure cooker. Sauté the onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add the cumin and continue to sauté for 10 seconds. Add the remaining spices and herbs, jalapeno pepper, beans, red bell pepper, celery, and carrots. Cover with water.

3. Lock the lid in place and over high heat pressure, cook for 12 minutes. Reduce pressure with the quick-release method. Remove lid, tilting away from you, as you allow the steam to escape. If beans are not tender, replace lid and simmer until done.

4. The chili may be watery. Lift 2-4 cups of soup out of pot with slotted spoon and puree. Then place back in pot and stir to thicken.

5. Remove bay leaves and stir in parsley and salt/soy sauce, to taste. (NOTE: A dollop of Vegenaise or sour cream in each individual bowl complements this dish. We also add Ohsawa brand Organic Nama Shoyu individually, to each soup bowl.)