In a large stockpot, on medium-high heat, sauté the onions, red bell pepper, and garlic in the olive oil for 5 minutes or until tender.
Add the chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika, dried oregano, salt, black pepper, and bay leaf. Mix to coat all the vegetables in the spices and sauté for another minute.
Add the vegetable broth, tomato sauce, corn, Rotel tomatoes, drained kidney beans, drained black beans, and the chili beans with sauce to the stockpot. Stir to combine.
Bring the vegetarian chili mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes stirring occasionally.
Once the chili has cooked, remove the bay leaf and turn off the heat.
Remove 1 cup of the chili and puree it on medium speed in a blender, or food processor, until creamy and smooth making sure to follow your blender's instructions for blending hot liquids. Add the pureed chili back into the pot and stir to incorporate it fully. This makes your chili rich and thick. You can omit this step if desired.
This is a very quick and easy vegetarian chili that you can adjust the vegetables to your liking. You can also adjust the types of beans used as well. I do however highly suggest keeping the chili beans in the sauce because they add great flavor and a thickness to the chili broth that would be lacking if you omitted them.
We recommend draining the liquid from the kidney beans because it can be a 'not so nice' liquid depending on the brand used. This is a standard suggestion when using canned beans. The chili beans are fine in the liquid because it is a flavored sauce.
This vegetarian chili would be great garnished with your favorite toppings including a dollop of sour cream, green onions, a sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese, and a handful of corn chips. All of these or just one will make a great addition to your bowl of veggie chili.