It always amazes me when I suddenly come across a new recipe that is such a hit at home it becomes a permanent fixture on our weekly menu. I mean how did I ever manage without it before. This vegetable chilli is one such dish. Thanks to vegetarian blogger Kate, of Cookie and Kate, this veggie version of the classic Mexican dish has now enabled me to cook a regular meat-free meal that, for all you meat lovers out there, won’t make you feel like you’ve been short-changed. The difference between this and other veggie chillis is that it doesn’t have a mince substitute, it is just packed with veggies and pulses. Bursting with nutrients, this dish allows you to get well on your way to meeting your five-a-day goal. This meal is also a perfect way to use up any veg left in your fridge at the end of the week or alternatively you can make an amazing store cupboard and freezer version for those days when your fridge is looking a bit neglected. It’s also perfect for batch cooking as the recipe is easily doubled and it freezes well.
Cookie and Kate’s recipe is no doubt wonderful but I made a few changes so it worked for The Accidental Cook’s family palate and meant I didn’t need to go out and get any special ingredients. My recipe is below.
Try it with rice, tortillas or baked potato and customise it with avocado, sour cream or cheese. However you choose to eat it, trust me you’ll want it every week.
APPP (see About page) – Less than £2 (I had to check my calculations twice as I didn’t believe it, but yes it really is that cheap. I think I need to make this every day!)
Kate’s Tip: For the best texture and flavour, either transfer some of the chilli to a blender and blend until smooth, then pour the blended mixture back into the pot or blend briefly with a hand-held blender or mash the chili with a potato masher until it reaches a thicker, more chilli-like consistency
Vegetable Chilli (serves 4|total prep and cooking time approx 45-50 mins)
- 4 tablespoons of soffritto mix (or 1 small onion, 1 stick of celery and 1 carrot chopped)
- 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped (in addition to the soffritto)
- Other chopped vegetables e.g. courgette, green beans
- 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- Cayenne pepper or chilli powder (depending on how hot you like it!)
- 1 large can (400g) or chopped tomatoes, with their juices
- 1 large can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 large can black beans, rinsed and drained (or other beans e.g pinto)
- approx 300ml vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnishing
- Heat some oil in a deep-sided, heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat
- Add the soffritto, garlic, red pepper, carrot and any other vegetables you are using
- Stir to combine and then cook for approximately 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender
- Add the cayenne/chili powder, cumin and smoked paprika. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 1 minute.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and their juices, the drained beans, vegetable stock and bay leaf. Stir to combine, then simmer and continue cooking, for 30 minutes. Remove the chilli from heat.
- Stir in the chopped parsley
- Blend part of the mixture
- Add more water as needed
- Serve with rice and a wedge of lime, or anything else you fancy!