Monday, 31 December 2012

Smokey Bean Chili

The weather has turned even colder, windier and wetter. Christmas is over and the leftovers have been eaten or turned into hashes or pies. As the New Year beckons, rather than stay huddled indoors, we have to venture out, returning home soggy and windswept. With weather like this I find myself craving warm, wholesome food and this smoky bean chili really hits the spot.

I always make it in a big batch and stash some away in the freezer for future meals. It’s a great freezer standby meal as it can be eaten on its own, spooned onto nachos and sour cream, served with rice or on top of a crisp fluffy baked potato.

Adding cocoa powder may sound like an odd ingredient, but it adds a slightly darker colour and enriches the earthy smoky flavour of the chili that’s delicious. It doesn’t taste of chocolate!

It’s warm, thick and comforting, healthy while still having substance. The beans add a nice creamy bite while the chili adds gentle warmth that lingers at the back of the throat. It would be great to have tonight, for anyone thinking of venturing outside to watch fireworks to see in the New Year.

Smokey Bean Chili
1 onion
2 carrots
1 parsnip
1 x 400g tin red kidney beans
1 x 400g black eye beans
1 x 400g chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 red chili
4 tbsp sweetcorn
½ red or yellow pepper
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chipotle chili powder (or regular hot chili powder)
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp cocoa powder
½ can water

Peel and dice the onion, carrot and parsnip. Finely chop the garlic and chili.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, carrot and parsnip. Stir, place the lid on the pan and cook for 5 minutes until they are starting to soften, but not brown.
Meanwhile finely dice the pepper. Drain the beans into a large sieve and wash under the cold tap to remove any brine.
Add the garlic, chili, pepper and extra herbs and spices to the pan and allow to cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
Add the extra herbs, spices, cocoa powder and tomato puree. Stir to combine before adding all the remaining ingredients, including the half can of water.
Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for a further 25-30minutes, stirring every 10minutes to prevent sticking.
Taste a carrot for doneness and add more ground chili or seasoning to preference.
Serve in big bowls with sour cream, nachos or cornbread if desired. Also great with rice or served on a crisp baked potato.
Serves 5 – 6


Choclette said...

I'm all for adding chocolate to chilli. I made up a big pan of spicy chickpeas and spinach today for much the same reasons as you - delicious.

Thank you for all the lovely comments you've left on my blog this year and I wish you all the best for 2013.

Happy New Year

Anita said...

All those spices would make this so tasty! We have just picked some beans that would make a great chili :)