Barely Bean Chili


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  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers, small diced (color of your choice)
  • 1 poblano pepper, small diced (optional)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, small diced
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbs. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 quart no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 1 cup pearled barely or quinoa
  • 2 15-oz cans beans (kidney, navy, pinto, or chili beans)
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes


  1. In a large pot over medium-high heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Stir in the peppers, onion, bay leaves, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir frequently until the onion is lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the remaining seasonings and stir to toast the spices for 1 minute.
  3. Pour the vegetable broth and cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the barely. partially cover the pot, allowing steam to escape.
  4. Bring the chili to a gentle boil, reducing the heat if necessary. Boil until the barely is tender, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
  5. Add the tomatoes and beans. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the pot, leaving the lid slightly ajar.
  6. Cook until the barely is tender and the chili is thick, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 30 minutes. If necessary, thin out the chili with a splash of water.

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