recipes from the escobosa kitchens

Pierce Street Vegetarian Chili

Fantastic the first time and even better three days later with a fried egg on top. Tone down the spice if you aren’t up for it. And use a big pot!

Source: Heidi Swanson

Pierce Street Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients for about 10 people

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 8 small/med garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1.5 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 chipotle pepper, minced
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 0z.)
  • 10 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2.25 cups black, brown, or green lentils (or combo), rinsed and picked over
  • ⅔ cup pearled barley or pearled farro
  • ⅔ cup bulgur wheat (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt (or to taste)
  • Toppings
  • a bit of chopped serranos, a bit of feta or dollop of thinned out salted yogurt, a drizzle of equal parts chopped fresh oregano and olive oil, chopped onion, fried egg


  1. In a large stockpot pot over medium heat add the olive oil, onion, and shallots.
  2. When the onions soften up and get a bit translucent, add the garlic, ginger, chili powder and cumin. Stir well and cook for a minute of so, until everything gets quite fragrant.
  3. Stir in the serrano pepper and chipotle pepper, tomatoes, and 8 cups of the broth. Now add the chickpeas, lentils, barley/farro, and bulgur - stirring between each addition. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer. Take a taste of the broth a few minutes into the simmer - you can make adjustments for salt here - if you're using water in place of broth, you can add a teaspoon of salt for starters and add more later if needed.
  4. Simmer away for about 35- 45 minutes or until the lentils and grains are cooked through. You will likely need to add the rest of the water, a cup at a time, if the chili thickens up too much.
  5. Before serving do your final adjustments - add more chipotle, salt, or whatever you think it needs.