This hearty, flavor-packed vegetarian chili is sure to please everyone around your table—even the most adamant beef-and-bean traditionalists. Pureeing a portion of the soup once the beans have been added adds richness and body to the broth, while charring the tomatillos delivers bold, smoky flavor. 

Recipe by MyRecipes


Credit: Aaron Kirk

Recipe Summary

Serves 4-6


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and poblano pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, then add garlic and 1/2 tsp of the salt and continue cooking until onions, peppers, and garlic are very tender, about 10 more minutes. If they begin to brown, reduce heat slightly.

  • Meanwhile, heat a cast-iron skillet over high until it begins to smoke. Place tomatillos in the skillet and cook undisturbed for about 2 minutes, or until they begin to blacken. Continue cooking, rotating every minute or so, until tomatillos feel like water balloons when gently squeezed (with tongs), and are beginning to burst. Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside.

  • Add cumin, cayenne, and sweet smoked paprika to the onion mixture, and cook another minute. Add apple cider vinegar and cook, stirring, until the liquid is evaporated, then stir in 6 cups of water and remaining 2 tablespoons of the salt and the blended tomatillos. Bring to a boil over high heat, then add beans.

  • Cook for 10 minutes, until beans are very tender, then ladle about 1/3 of the soup into the blender and puree until smooth; return the pureed soup to the pot. Add corn and bring to a boil and cook another 10 minutes, until soup thickens slightly. Adjust seasonings to taste. Divide among bowls and serve with toppings.