Three-Bean Chili Soup

Three-Bean Chili Soup


  • 3/4 cup each dried cannellini or red kidney beans, black beans and Anasazi beans, picked over and rinsed, soaked overnight, and drained
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 large green bell peppers, roasted and seeded
  • 2 large red or yellow bell peppers, roasted and seeded
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 4 tomatoes, peeled and seeded, then diced
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro (fresh coriander)
  • 6 tablespoons shredded queso asadero or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 2 green (spring) onions, including tender green tops, thinly sliced



  • In a large saucepan over high heat, combine the beans, water, bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt.
  • Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer until the beans are tender but still firm, 60 to 70 minutes.
  • Drain and discard the bay leaf.
  • When the beans are cooked, coarsely chop the roasted bell peppers and set aside.
  • In a large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
  • Add the yellow onion and sauté until soft and lightly golden, about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin, red pepper flakes and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Cook until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add the bell peppers, cooked beans, tomatoes and cilantro and cook until the tomatoes are heated through, 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Ladle the chili into individual bowls and sprinkle with the cheese and green onions.

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