Protein-rich Bean and Tofu Chili | A Nourishing Soup

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted here on The India Edition – I’m sorry for being away but I assure you, I’m back! We made the move to Chicago earlier this fall – six oversized bags in tow, with pretty much none of my kitchen essentials. Over the last year and a half I had built a sizable collection of beautiful crockery, pots and pans, napkins, bakeware, gadgets and more in Calcutta. Over time I’ll work on bringing some of those back here, but for now we’ll have to accept that the focus will be more on the food than presentation! Being back in America has given me access to all the ingredients I missed (a million types of cheese, different kinds of flour, the options goes on) but I’m still going to continue to make my recipes as accessible as possible. In other words, the ingredients I use in these recipes will be available in India (or easily replaceable) – and pretty much anywhere else in the world as well. Today, I’m sharing my current favorite recipe – a protein-rich bean and tofu chili.

protein-rich bean and tofu chili

Chili is essentially a Tex-Mex concept for soup – I’ve taken it, made it my own (read: added tofu because I love tofu and that’s what I do) while keeping the flavor and texture. This quick and easy recipe makes a nourishing soup that’s packed with flavor but not overbearing. Store-bought or canned soups tend to be overly salted and quite acidic. You’ll never see me order a soup at a restaurant or pick up one at a food court for this reason. This recipe uses minimal tomato (fresh, not pureed or canned which is even more acidic) so that you can enjoy the meal and not reach for an antacid right after. A mix of seemingly simple spices imparts flavor that’s almost unbelievable given the short ingredient list. I was pleasantly surprised the first time I made this – I’ve made and tested it several times after.

This protein-rich bean and tofu chili makes the perfect work desk lunch or healthy weeknight dinner. You can dress it up or down – to keep it healthy, eat it as is, topped with avocado and cilantro or paired with a side salad. Veggies like cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms and zucchini taste great in the soup as well – just be sure to cut them into small pieces so they cook well and are easy to eat. To make it a little more indulgent, top with some cheese and tortilla chips or better yet, make quesadillas to go with it. On its own, this recipe is also vegan and gluten-free which makes it a great option to include when hosting friends or family with dietary restrictions.

Let me know what you think if you make this protein-rich bean and tofu chili – leave a comment below or on Instagram @theindiaedition. I’m so happy to be back in action here – thank you for being part of my journey!

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
  • 425g cooked kidney beans (15oz or approx 2 cups)
  • 250g tofu
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 tomato, de-seeded and chopped or crushed
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil (or any other high-heat oil)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • A pinch of turmeric
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 jalapeno or green chili (optional)
  • 250ml or 1 cup water
  • Optional add-ins: chopped cilantro, cheese, avocado, tortilla chips
  1. Sauteé the chopped onion, garlic and spices with oil on medium-low heat until fragrant - about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add tomato, crumble the tofu and sauteé for another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the cooked kidney beans and water. If you like a little more spice/kick, add the chopped jalapeno or green chili.
  4. Continue to cook on medium-low heat for another 4-5 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with your choice of the optional add-ins.

For more healthy Mexican food inspiration, read my recipes for traditional tacos with tofu and rainbow vegan taco lettuce wraps.

protein-rich bean and tofu chili

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