vegetable chili with beans

4    |   
Prep Time:
20 minutes    |   
Cook Time:
45 minutes

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This non-meat showstopper with mushrooms and yams was inspired by an article on chili in the San Francisco Chronicle. It’s ideal to have bubbling on the stove after a day of skiing or winter hiking, or for a halloween party. If you are feeding a crowd, it can be doubled or tripled.

veggie chili


1 medium garnet yam (about 12 ounces)
olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
8 ounces brown (cremini) or white mushrooms, sliced
kosher salt
homemade spice blend (see below) or 1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
4-ounce can diced green chiles
14-ounce can diced tomatoes
14-ounce can pinto beans or black beans

plain yogurt or sour cream
2 green onions, sliced


Peel the yam and cut into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.

Pour enough olive oil in the bottom of a large saucepan to coat well and place pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and a good pinch of salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms soften and give off some liquid, about 5 minutes. Stir in homemade spice blend or chili powder, then canned chiles and tomatoes. Fill empty tomato can with water and add to pan. Bring to a boil, then stir in yam cubes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain beans in a colander and rinse under cold water until the foam (and excess salt) is washed away. When chili has cooked for 20 minutes, add beans to pan, then cover again and cook 15 minutes more or until yams are tender and beans are hot through. Turn off heat and let chili stand a few minutes to settle flavors. Ladle into bowls and top with a little yogurt or sour cream and a sprinkling of green onions.

homemade spice blend: combine 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder, 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, and 1 teaspoon dried oregano.