Winter cold is one thing but Polar Vortex is unusual even for Michigan. Time to serve up a big pot of warmth, filling and comfort. I prepared my favorite plant -based chili. I believe it could become a favorite for you, also . Full of beans, loads of veggies , herbs and spices. I made this from dry red beans specifically for the soupy, sloppy bean gravy that comes from cooking dry beans. Of course there are options. Here we have the crunch of peppers, sweet potatoes chunks, plum tomatoes (if you have some preserved from the summer – pull them out), red onion, herbs and spices each with a healing nature. This robust dish is a cinch to pull together. Chili can also serve as a filling in a wrap with leafy greens, sprouts and what-ever your heart desires or over a grain or rice.
- 1 pound dry red kidney beans
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ribs celery, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
- 6 whole tomatoes, chopped or 1-28 ounce can whole plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup sweet potatoes, (peeled, chopped
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon, dried basil
- 1 teaspoon, dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground sweet paprika
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 shakes cayenne pepper
- Dash of sea salt
- Cilantro leaves, chopped (optional)
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
- 1 lime, quartered (optional)
Cover dry beans with water and soak over night. Drain water and rinse well.
In large soup pot over medium-low heat add oil, onions, celery, carrots and garlic and saute for 6 minutes stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 of vegetable broth and cook 2 additional minutes. Lower heat, add herbs and spices, stir gently until fragrant.
Add tomatoes, beans, sweet potatoes, cayenne pepper and cook for 25 minutes. Test the softness of the beans. The peppers are the last vegetable to be added, once beans are soft to the touch of a fork. Add the peppers and remaining vegetable broth. Cook for 15 minutes. Taste and add sea salt if needed.
Serve in bowls: Here are optional toppings – chopped walnuts, cilantro leaves, a squeeze of lime