Vegan Chili (with celery, onions, peppers, and tomatoes)

Makes 10-12 servings


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup poblano pepper, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ancho chili pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 6 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 quart tomato sauce, plus extra if needed
  • 16 oz. fresh tomatoes, diced (or organic canned tomatoes)
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup dried red kidney beans
  • 1/4 cup dried black beans
  • 1/4 cup dried navy beans
  • 1/4 cup dried Great Northern beans
  • Additional salt, pepper, and seasonings, to taste


  1. One day ahead: wash four kinds of beans, then soak together overnight in cold water in the refrigerator.
  2. 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.
  3. Separately, cook lentils in 2 cups cold water. Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Set aside.
  4. In a large pot, add olive oil and turn heat to medium. Add all diced vegetables and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Add all seasonings to the vegetables and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the tomato paste and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  7. 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.
  8. 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

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