White Bean Chili with Winter Vegetables

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1 tablespoon olive oil

2 leeks, white and 1′ of pale-green part, diced

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4′ cubes

2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise if large (remove woody center, if needed), cut into 1/4′ cubes

1-1 1/2 tablespoons ground ancho chiles

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning

1 1/4 cups dried cannellini (white kidney) beans, soaked overnight (to yield about 3 cups) or two 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed

Cilantro leaves (optional)

1 ripe avocado, peeled, chopped


Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks, garlic, and 2 Tbsp. water. Cook until leeks are softened, about 5 minutes. Add carrots and parsnips; stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes. Add ground chiles, cumin, oregano, and 2 tsp. salt. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Fold in beans. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to allow flavors to meld, about 30 minutes (if using soaked beans, cook until tender, which may take a few more minutes). Season with salt.

Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired, and chopped avocado.