1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 cans (15 oz each) diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and drained
Juice of 1 lime
4 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
1 loaf Panera Bread Country bread, sliced or tor
Cook the beef in a large soup pot over medium heat until no longer pink, about 5 minutes, breaking up the meat with a spoon.
Add the onions, carrots, bell pepper, jalapeno peppers, and garlic to the pan and cook until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Add diced tomatoes (with juice) and cook 5 minutes.
Add ½ cup water and beans, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt, and black pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until thick, about 40 minutes. If chili is too thick, add water to thin. Serve hot, with cilantro scattered on top (if using) and pieces of the Panera Bread Country bread.
TIP: To make the chili in a slow cooker, proceed with the recipe up to the point of sautéing the vegetables. Transfer the vegetables, beef, and remaining ingredients to the slow cooker and cook on low heat for 8 hours or high heat for 4 hours.