This vegan, gluten-free chili is inspired by the story of the “Three Sisters,” the Native American agricultural tradition of planting beans, squash, and corn together.
- 1 pound red beans (i.e., kidney, small red, cranberry), dried
- 7 cups water
- 1 vegetable bouillon cube (gluten-free)
- 1 small acorn squash, peeled, cubed (about 2 ¼ cups)
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 stalks celery, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries (available at spice shops or online), ground using mortar and pestle
- 2 teaspoons ground, dried sage
- ½ – 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper (according to taste preference)
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
- Sea salt (optional)
- Fresh tarragon, mint or sage, as desired
- Soak beans overnight in water.
- Drain and place beans in a large pot. Add fresh water, vegetable bouillon cube, squash, onion, garlic, celery, pepper, bay leaves, juniper berries, sage, chili pepper, tarragon, and corn. Stir well, cover, and bring to a heat. Simmer over medium-low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. May need to replace water lost to evaporation.
- Add tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for an additional 15-30 minutes, until thick and beans are tender. May add additional water lost to evaporation as needed—should make thick, stew-like consistency. Add fresh mint and stir well. Remove bay leaves. Season with salt, if desired. May serve with fresh tarragon, mint or sage, as desired.
Instant Pot Directions: Skip step 1. Follow steps 2-3, placing all ingredients, except garnish, in the container of the Instant Pot. Press “Bean/Chili” setting. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Garnish as desired with tarragon, mint, or sage. Serve immediately.
Slow Cooker Directions: Soak beans in water overnight as in step 1. Follow step 2-3; draining beans and placing them in slow cooker container, along with all ingredients (except for garnish). Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-12 hours until tender. Cook according to manufacturer’s directions. Garnish as desired with tarragon, mint, or sage. Serve immediately.
- Category: Soup
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 216
- Sugar: 9 G
- Sodium: 233 mg
- Fat: 1 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 43 g
- Fiber: 9 g
- Protein: 12 g
Keywords: soup, vegan chili, healthy vegan chili