Mimsy Were the Borogoves

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Heathen chili

Jerry Stratton, January 25, 1998

If you are willing to offend any religious chili-eaters in your household, this meatless chili may well corrupt you.

Servings: 8
Preparation Time: 12 hours


  • 1 1/2 cups dry black beans
  • 1 cup dry pinto beans
  • 1/4 cup dry adzuki beans
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 2 medium jalapeños, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cumin


  1. Soak the beans overnight, or in boiled water for an hour
  2. Pressure cook at high for 11 minutes with 6 cups of water.
  3. Save the liquid: use for the 2 1/2 cups water.
  4. Quarter and purée the tomatoes.
  5. Mix all ingredients in crockpot
  6. Cook on low for 10-12 hours.

If there is one recipe that justifies my owning a crockpot, this is it. Rather than hamburger or beef, a mixture of beans makes this chili’s base. This has slowly become my favorite chili recipe.

It’s a heathen chili because you can have a chili without beans, but chili without meat is sacrilegious.

For a meatier (but still heathen) chili, replace the olive oil with 1/2 cup browned ground beef, slices of sausage, or even shrimp.

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