Blue Ribbon Chili

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This was one of my first chili recipes with out meat. Years later it’s still one of our family favorite chili’s. It also freezes well.

Yield: about 8 cups


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 ½ cup water*
  • 2 cups crushed tomatoes (fresh or canned 398 ml/15 oz)
  • 3 cups pinto or red kidney beans (home cooked or two 540 ml/19 oz cans)
  • 1 can tomato paste (156 ml/5.5 oz)
  • 3 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp chipotle powder
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cane sugar
  • ½ tsp salt (optional)
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke (optional)


  1. Sauté onions without oil until they begin to brown then add the garlic, celery, green pepper and water. Cover and cook simmer until celery is soft.
  2. Add the tomatoes, beans, tomato paste and spices. Stir well to combine. Add cooking water from the beans to achieve desired sauce consistency. Bring mixture to boil and serve piping hot.


  • I use the cooking water from home cooked beans rather than regular water. You may also want to use more or less liquid to adjust how thick you prefer the sauce.