I’ve been awol again! Life has been so busy these last few weeks but it’s been all nice things happening. Work is busy and I’ve had lots of lovely family days with two communions to go to. At these times my blog has to take a back seat, but I’ve been itching to share this recipe for Veggie Chilli and thought I’d get it up before the warm weather really kicks in.
I think most of us these days are trying to eat less meat, whether it’s for health or environmental reasons. While I will probably never be vegetarian, dishes like this make me have a rethink. The basic recipe itself is actually vegan but I will always add crème fraiche and cheese to my chilli.
Useful tips & links:
- Like all stews, this benefits from being made the night before you want to eat it. It’s not strictly necessary but it does improve the flavour.
- Aubergines might be unusual in chilli but I like to use them in meat free dishes. Likewise I’ve used butternut squash where you could use sweet potato or feel free to use any combination of vegetables you like.
- I use 2 different types of dried chilli here to add depth of flavour, they are widely available but if you cannot get them you can use fresh chilli and add more smoked paprika for flavour.
- I use tinned beans but if you want to use dried, soak them overnight before making the chilli.
- This is a great freezer food so I like to make a big batch and portion it up.
- If you are missing the meat, my Beef Chilli is one of my favourite recipes.
- For another vegetarian chilli have a look at this gorgeous Vegetarian Bean Chilli from Caitriona of Wholesome Ireland.
- Sunflower oil
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
- A large red bell pepper, diced
- A small aubergine, diced
- 1 stick of celery, peeled and finely diced
- ½ a small butternut squash, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 teaspoon of chipotle chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon of adobo chilli flakes
- ¼ teaspoon of allspice
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 heaped teaspoon of oregano
- 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper
- 1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
- 300ml of tomato passata
- 1 tablespoon of dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
- 1 x 400g tin of black beans drained and rinsed
- 1 x 400g tin of pinto beans drained and rinsed
- A squeeze of lime juice
- Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and gently fry the onions for a few minutes. Add the carrots, pepper, celery and aubergine and some salt and pepper and cook slowly over a low heat until soft. This can take anything from 8 to 15 minutes.
- Increase the heat and add the garlic and squash and cook for a few minutes, taking care to not let the garlic burn.
- Add in all of the dried spices from the chilli flakes down to the smoked paprika and stir through the veg. Allow the spices to cook for a few minutes and then add the chopped tomatoes, the passata, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Bring it all to a boil and then reduce the heat.
- Add in the drained beans and some more salt and pepper. Cover and allow it to simmer for an hour and a half, stirring occasionally.
- At this stage I allow it to cool and keep it in the fridge overnight.
- When ready to serve simply reheat, squeeze in a little lime juice, taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.