Serves 5 Cook time 1 hr 20mins Freezes well
The colder weather is now heading our way, and the summer warmth quickly receding. Now when the temperature is dropping, a plate of salad is just not an option. We are thinking of hunkering down, thoughts turn to cosy nights in, while listening to the blustery weather outside. As much as I love the sun, Autumn is my favourite time of the year. The first sight of the leaves turning russet brown and I want to stock my freezer with warming meals.
One of my hearty favourites is chilli. Not a hot spice fan, I prefer mine warming but with the smokey background from paprika. I have eaten many vegetarian and vegan chilli and a lot of them have left me wanting more. It always felt there was something missing, it definitely was not the meat. Like stews, I prefer my chilli to be rib-sticking thick.
I didn’t just want kidney beans and a few types of vegetables, I wanted a variety. One of my favourite beans is black beans, so they had to be included, along with kidney and black-eyed beans. That combined with carrots, red peppers, courgette and celery ensured that this chilli was definitely hearty. The aroma of this cooking is pretty amazing.
I was going to make guacamole to show alongside it, bad timing on the avocado. I am sure that there will be plenty of photo opportunities later to show my favourite sides. I never eat this on the day I make it. I always make it the day before. For me, the flavours develop more over time. This chilli freezes well in airtight containers for 2 months. In the refrigerator, it will keep for 5 days.
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 large carrots
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 1 red onion
- small courgette
- 2 stalks of celery
- 1 large red pepper
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp smoked paprika ( has to be smoked)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1.5 tbsp chilli powder or chipotle paste (this depends on your heat preference)
- 1 400g can of black beans,
- 1 400g can kidney beans
- 1 can 400g black-eyed beans
- 2 cans chopped tomatoes
- 2 Tbsp tomato puree
- 2 cups of water
Chop all the vegetables, onion, celery, pepper, courgette and carrots. Drain the cans of beans and rinse.
In a large heavyweight pot add the 2 tbsp of oil and heat until hot. Add all the chopped vegetables and cook over medium heat until they are tender. This should take around 10 minutes.
Now add the crushed garlic, chilli powder or paste, paprika, cumin and oregano. Cookout the spices for a few minutes, to cook through.
Add the tins of tomatoes and juices, beans, water, tomato puree and bay leaf.
Stir and bring to a gentle simmer uncovered on medium heat for 45 minutes, letting it reduce slightly. Remove from the heat and let it cool.
I now use the same method I do with soups, remove 1 cup of the chilli and blend it. This can be done with a stick blender or an upright blender. Blitz until smooth and add back to the pot. If you find this a little too thick, then you can loosen it with a little water.
It is now ready to serve the way you like it. For me, it is lime-infused rice, vegan sour cream, cheese and guacamole. Sometimes though it just nachos and cheese Whatever way you like to eat it, I hope you enjoy it.