I love making chili. It’s something you can make out of standard fridge + pantry items (beans + canned tomatoes, onions, spices), and it’s a hella cozy meal in the dead of winter. I firmly believe that chili should be really thick, and you should have something to dip into it. Unfortunately we didn’t time our sourdough baking this weekend with the making of this chili, so I completely undermined my own chili principles :O .
I also really wanted to make chili because we are trying to get better at planning our meals, making extras to freeze, and making more stuff from scratch. One aspect of scratch cooking that I’ve always been bad at is beans. There’s nothing complicated about cooking beans from scratch, I just hardly ever think ahead to do it. It’s incredibly economical, plus you can cook them and freeze large amounts of them so you always have them on hand. For this recipe I soaked 1/2 cup each of dried black + kidney beans, and black eyed peas overnight, cooked them in fresh water for about 30 minutes and they were good to go. If you use canned beans, you might need a little less salt while you’re cooking.
chili (vegetarian, vegan, gluten free)
makes 5-6 servings
2 cups onion, diced small
1 cup carrot, diced small
1 cup celery, cut lengthwise and diced small
3 cloves garlic (about 1 T), minced
8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
2 t cumin seeds
2 t coriander seeds
1 t oregano
1 T paprika
1 t smoked paprika
1 t red pepper flakes
2 t cocoa powder
1/2 cup dried shiitake covered with 1/2 cup hot water
2 tablespoons soy sauce (gluten free if needed)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons blackstrap molasses
2 cups (total) red + yellow pepper, diced small
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 1/2 cups cooked beans
1 cup finely shredded red chard
1 tablespoon cornmeal
salt and pepper
Heat the oil in a small soup pot over low heat. Add the onions, celery and carrot, and let them slowly sweat it out for about 10-15 minutes. Add the garlic and mushrooms and season with salt. Stir occasionally for about 15-20 minutes until soft, then bash the spices in a mortar and pestle and add to the pot. Stir to coat the mixture, and allow the spices to toast for about 2 minutes.
Add the soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and molasses to the pot, and scrape up any tasty morsels that are stuck to the bottom of the pan. Roughly chop the shiitake mushrooms, then toss it and the soaking water into the pot as well. Add the diced/crushed tomatoes and beans, and allow to simmer for about 20 minutes. Add the shredded chard and cornmeal, and allow to simmer for another 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with fresh coriander.