- One day ahead: wash four kinds of beans, then soak together overnight in cold water in the refrigerator.
- Drain beans the next morning. Cover in cold water. Bring to a boil, simmer until tender, about an hour. Then drain. Set aside until ready to add to chili.
- Separately, cook lentils in 2 cups cold water. Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large pot, add olive oil and turn heat to medium. Add all diced vegetables and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add all seasonings to the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, cooked lentils, and cooked beans. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Continue to cook for 15 minutes. Taste a final time and adjust seasonings. If chili is thick, thin with water or vegetable broth.
- Use any bean or bean combination you enjoy.
- Wear gloves when dicing peppers. Keep fingers away from eyes, ears, and sensitive areas after handling.
Photo credit: Joseph De Leo for epicurious