The very very first recipe I blogged about was my Bean Chilli. It’s one of my all time favourite recipes, (See it here!) one I turn to over & over. I make it for easy Sunday lunches with friends, I make it in batches and freeze it & I make it when I’m in need of a comforting easy dish. A big pot of it feeds two people for 2-3 days. We use it in tacos, as the base for shepherdess pie and over nachos, it even gets used to fill little hand pies made from filo pastry.
It’s such a beloved dish that when I was ill recently, The Gardener made it for me to cheer me up. And it really really worked.
There’s something about the combination of beans, warming spices and chilli that is an instant mood lifter. I originally specified 2 types of beans, but The Gardener used three different types, all tinned, as opposed to the two dried then soaked & cooked types I specified in my original recipe. Either way it works brilliantly. Tinned certainly speeds up the process and doesn’t take away from the taste at all.
Serve the chilli with all kinds of yummy extras, chopped herbs, some tomatoes or salsa, some chilli flakes or some avocado slices.
Go make a batch, then tell me how you ate it!
Our favourite vegan bean chilli!
- 500 g dried weight of 2 types of beans. Try butter beans & black beans, cannellini beans & kidney beans.. One creamy & one with more texture seems to work well
- OR 3 tins of beans 3 different types is ideal.
- 1 medium onion- finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves -minced
- glug olive oil
- 2 tins tomatoes
- 2-3 Tbs of tomato paste concentrate
- 1 large red pepper/capsicum not necessary, but nice– finely chopped
- a glug of red wine
- 1 small fresh chilli or one small dried chilli- finely chopped/minced- or more if you like it hot.
- 1 tsp mild chilli powder
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme chopped or 1 tsp dried
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon this gives a deep, scented background, strange, but it really works!
- 1 tsp cumin- ground
- 1 tbs vegetarian stock powder- I use Marigold dissolved in 1 cup warm water
- Salt & Pepper
If you’re using dried beans- soak them over night in plenty of water. At least 12 hours- or longer if possible. then rinse the beans & drain well then cook for around 45 mins until soft.
OR Rinse the tins of beans ready to add to the recipe.
In a large saucepan, gently fry the onions & garlic until translucent
Add in all the spices & the tomato paste & fry for a minute until fragrant
Add in the beans, tins of tomatoes ( I swish each tin out with a bit of water to get all the tomatoey goodness in), the glug of wine, bay leaves and the stock.
Put the lid on the saucepan & bring everything to the boil for 5 mins.
Then take down the temperature and leave on a gentle simmer for around 10- 20mins, stirring occasionally. Add extra water if you need to.
Test for spice balance at this stage too- add in more herbs or chilli if necessary. A splash of cholula sauce or other chilli sauce can be added if you think you need more of a spicy kick.
Serve in a bowl with some herbs, a sprinkling of tomatoes, avocado or other garnishes as you like.
If you can wait the chilli is even better the next day. Don’t forget to freeze what you don’t use, ready for a lazy work day dinner or a warming lunch after a long gardening session.