Nothing like a bowl of warm chili for the cold weather, we are about to get, predicting a chance of 1 to 3 inches of snow possible down here in the deep south.
- 2 cups dried pinto beans
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 large onions, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 6 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 dried mild New Mexico Chile's, stemmed and seeded ( I sub 2 tbsp of chili powder)
- 1 cup vegetable broth, or reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 28-ounce can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1/2 cup pearl barley
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Soak beans in cold water in a large pot for at least 8 hours or overnight. (Alternatively, cook beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Cover and set aside for 1 hour.) Drain and rinse beans.
- Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin and oregano; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add water, bay leaf and beans; bring to a simmer. Skim foam from surface. Cover and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/4 hours.
- Meanwhile, lightly toast Chile's in a heavy dry skillet over medium-low heat. Transfer to a plate and let cool; tear into several pieces.
- Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Remove from heat and add Chile's; cover and let soften, turning several times, for 30 minutes. Transfer Chile's and broth to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth.
- When the beans have simmered for 1 1/4 hours, add Chile puree, tomatoes, barley and salt. Simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until beans and barley are tender and chili has thickened, about 45 minutes more.
- Remove bay leaf. Season chili with vinegar, sugar, pepper and salt. Serve with Avocado Salsa, if desired.