I first made this chili last winter when Ev and I were practicing being vegetarians before my little sister came and stayed with us. We wanted to be able to cook interesting meals for her, rather than just feeding her salads. Rabbit food just isn’t satisfying during winter.
Since then, Ev has decided to switch back to a vegetarian diet. Considering that the weather is about to change, although you wouldn’t have guessed it from the grasp that summer is attempting to have on the weather over the last couple of days, this seemed like an appropriate recipe to dust off and make again. Hearty and nutritious – beans are a vegetarian source of protein, plus all the vitamins and minerals from the veggies – this stew really hits the spot on a cold night and makes an easy lunch for the next day.
- Being a chili, this recipe contains chickpeas (garbanzo beans), kidney beans and black beans. In total, these contain enough galacto-oligosaccharides to be problematic for someone who is sensitive to oligosaccharides – the O in FODMAPS. If you wanted to make this FODMAP safe, eliminate some or all of the beans and replace them with more of the safe veggies so it bulks up again. This would be the FODMAPs “safe” option, rather than the original recipe below.
- The fructans in onion and garlic are contained within the skin of the layers, so theoretically you should be able to fry them in the first stages of this recipe for flavour and then remove them afterwards and have no ill effect as the fructans content will be drastically reduced. If you are too sensitive even for that or simply don’t want to risk it, either omit the onion and garlic entirely or replace with asafoetida powder.
- Celery contains some mannitol; if you are sensitive, replace it with celeriac, which is low in all FODMAPs.
- Sweet corn can be problematic for some, eliminate it if it triggers your IBS.
- Adobo peppers are smoked jalapenos.
- You could sub in any sort of “chili powder” if you can’t find the cayenne or adobo peppers – just make sure you read the ingredients and look out for onion and garlic powders.
- 1/2 onion, diced if you can tolerate it or in quarters if you cannot.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced if you can tolerate it or halved if not. Alternatively, you can replace the garlic and onion with a 1/2 tsp. of asafoetida.
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp. dried oregano or 1 tbsp. fresh, minced
- 1 tbsp. ground cayenne pepper
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground adobo chili pepper
- 2 large celery stalks or equivalent celeriac, diced
- 2 large capsicums, diced – red or green
- 2-3 jalapeno peppers, diced and de-seeded if you don’t like too much spice; you could sub in 1 habanero if you really want to up the heat
- 2-3 green chile peppers, minced – de-seeding optional
- 3-4 x 28 oz/800 g cans of crushed tomatoes
- 1 x 15 oz/425 g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 x 15 oz/425 g can chickpeas, drained
- 1 x 15 oz/425 g can black beans, drained and thoroughly rinsed
- 1 x 15 oz/425 g can corn kernels, drained – optional
- Salt and pepper to taste
Seal your pot and then fry the asafoetida/onion, garlic, bay leaves and spices for 15 minutes over a med-high heat. You can either leave the diced onion and garlic in after this if you can tolerate them, or if you cut them into thick slices then you can remove them at this point. As you can see, I have left them in.
Add in the chopped fresh vegetables and fry over a medium heat until they are well softened – another 15 minutes approximately. You do not need to keep stirring as long as you have sealed your pan properly. As there isn’t much protein in here yet, so the risk of sticking is minimal. Just make sure the heat is not so high that it will crisp everything to the bottom.
Add in the canned beans and corn – drained! – and the crushed tomatoes; 3 cans for a thicker chili and 4 if you like it runny. Season with salt and pepper and then bring it to the boil for 30 seconds before turning it down to a low heat and simmering for at least an hour before serving.
If you have time to think ahead, chili is best the second day – as are most stews – because the flavours have more time to combine and intensify.
If your chili hasn’t thickened as much as you’d like, a quick trick to thicken it up is to add a handful or two of crushed corn tortilla chips and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes. It’s a much quicker option than waiting up to an extra hour for the dinner that you want now!
Serve with natural sour cream or cheddar cheese and garnish with sliced green onions or coriander leaves. If you omitted the sour cream and cheese then this dish would be vegan as well.
Most importantly, dig in!