Bean Chili with Okra-Mushroom Topping

The past few days have been warm enough for our beautiful sledding snow to melt away, but more is on the way, together with a cold spell. Which is the perfect opportunity to start cooking up things that are thoroughly warming and nutritious so that everyone has plenty of energy for winter fun šŸ™‚

Chili is a great favorite in our house, and this version is both vegan and mild. My ever-favorite smoked paprika, blended with honey (or maple syrup), evokes summer barbecues and lime adds a splash of citrusy freshness – and reminds our tongues of the several pounds of mandarins we’ve eaten over the last week! Ilian just can’t get enough of them šŸ˜‰
He was a happy helper in the kitchen with this dish, squeezing tomatoes into a pulp, tasting okras to compare the texture before and after cooking, and – his favorite part – “cleaning” the honey spoon with his hands and mouth and face and arms and… you get the picture!

Happy cooking and stay warm wherever there is snow!

Bean Chili with Okra-Mushroom Topping

  • Servings: dinner for 4 grown-ups
  • Print


  • 5 to 10 okras, sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 28oz cans of peeled plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, tomatoes broken up into pieces
  • 3 15oz cans of beans, e.g. kidney, pinto, and black beans
  • 4 medium-sized carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium-sized potatoes, diced
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 TBsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 3 TBsp maple syrup or honey
  • 2 TBsp freshly pressed lime juice
  • 2 TBsp canola oil


  1. Heat canola oil in dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add Okras with 1/2 tsp salt and fry for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms and thyme, fry until okras are lightly browned and mushrooms start to shrink. Lift everything out with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and remaining spices to the dutch oven, reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for about 30 minutes, until veggies are soft. Stir every once in a while.
  4. Add beans, stir well, and let them heat through, about 4 minutes.
  5. Taste and adjust with honey, lime juice, salt etc.
  6. Fill chili into bowls and top with okra-mushroom mix. Serve and enjoy!

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