Vegetarian 3-Bean Chili

5-6 servings
1 hour 30 minutes
- 1 large white onion, finely chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ bunch cilantro
- 1 chipotle chile in adobo, plus 1 tsp adobo sauce
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 15oz can pinto beans
- 15oz can red kidney beans
- 15oz can white kidney beans
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 28oz can fire-roasted tomatoes
- 2 tsp Kosher salt, plus more
- 1½ cups Fritos or other salty tortilla chips, divided
- lime juice
- sour cream
- freshly ground black pepper​​​​​​​
1. Separate leaves from stems from cilantro. Coarsely chop leaves; set aside for serving. Finely chop stems. Using a fork, pull 1 chipotle chile from can, then finely chop until a paste forms. Transfer to a small bowl, along with adobo sauce from can. Add tomato paste. Drain and rinse the 3 cans of beans.

2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add onion, garlic, cilantro stems, and chili powder and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is starting to soften, 5–6 minutes. Add tomato paste mixture and cook, stirring frequently, until brick red and starting to stick to bottom of pan, 2–3 minutes.

3. Add fire-roasted tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes are cooked down and slightly darker in color, 8–10 minutes.

4. Add beans, salt, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until soup has reduced slightly, 30–35 minutes. Mash about one-quarter of beans with the back of a wooden spoon—this will make the soup thicker and creamier. Stir in 1 cup Fritos and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 1–2 minutes. Squeeze in some lime juice, then taste for salt.

5. Divide soup among bowls. Top with sour cream, reserved cilantro leaves, and Fritos. Season with pepper.​​​​​​​

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