Every year at about this time I become a born-again (and again, and again) vegetarian. My ideology coincides with the start of the French hunting season and usually lasts two or three weeks; Fickle is my middle name!
This vegetarian chilli is so good that it actually makes you wonder why you would ever bother putting meat in it at all. From a nutrional standpoint, it’s certainly not lacking. Beans in general are high in fiber, protein, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Black beans have plenty of folates, kidney beans are a rich source of manganese and vitamin K and white beans are full of molybdenum. Finally, beans are low on the glycaemic indew, which makes them both healthy and diet-friendly.
Ingredients (serves 6)
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, cut into strips
2 chilli peppers, cut into strips
1 large carrot, peeled and cut
1 courgette, sliced
5 mushrooms, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons’ olive oil
110g dry black beans (you can also use pre-cooked but make sure to drain and rinse well)
110g dry white beans (you can also use pre-cooked but make sure to drain and rinse well)
110g dry kidney beans (you can also use pre-cooked but make sure to drain and rinse well)
1 tin of tomatoes (400g)
250ml vegetable stock
1 glass of red wine
2 bay leaves
Sea salt, pepper, paprika, chilli powder
Pre-soak and cook the beans if using the uncooked variety.
Brown the onions and garlic in a medium-size casserole until golden. Add the mushrooms, courgettes, carrots, red pepper and chilli pepper and continue to brown. After about five minutes, add the red wine and simmer gently for a couple of minutes. Then add the tomatoes, beans, stock and bay leaves. Bring back to a gentle simmer and add the seasoning. Stir well and cook in a medium oven (about 175°C) for an hour. You can cook for longer than an hour, but will probably need to add more fluid. Check from time to time anyway, as the beans soak up quite a lot and may need to be rehydrated. This is also good cooked in advance and reheated.
Delicious served with brown basmati rice and a crisp green salad.