Chris and I ate so much of this chilli the other night that we gave ourselves stomach aches. On Sunday after Mother’s Day breakfast, a quick run, two hours spent cleaning the oven, and a smoothie for lunch, I needed to set something bubbling away on the stove while I got down to some dissertation writing business (some of the aforementioned activities may have been procrastination tactics…). This is the second time in as many weeks that I have made a big pot of this vegan black bean chilli. The first time I greedily kept it all to myself. When Chris finally managed to scavenge a bite out of the last bowl he said ‘mmm good chilli.’
Now, when your meat-loving, bacon-snuggling, chicken-chomping darling boyfriend expresses interest in your vegetarian – nay, vegan – dinner, lady, you better pay attention and make another pot of chilli – stat!
This is one of those best dishes layered with spices and filled with vegetables that makes your house smell like a home. As you ladle the thick, chunky stew into bowls and sprinkle it with coriander and spring onions you can feel a blanket of cosiness wrapping around you and your loved ones. Add some toasted bread, or some crackers, even some avocado chopped on top would go well. Then take yourself to the comfiest spot in the house, curl up beside the one you love, and nourish body and soul with a bowl of this vegan chilli.
(In the spirit of full disclosure, the boyfriend did end up having some roasted chicken breast stirred through his, which was enough to fill the ‘meat category’ for dinner.)
Vegan Black Bean Chilli
Serves 6 | Vegan | Gluten Free |
I used dried black beans that needed soaking overnight. If you want to use canned black beans or even kidney beans, just skip the soaking step. If you wish for a milder chilli you could leave out the chilli flakes and decrease the chilli powder to 1 teaspoon.
- 1 cup dried black beans
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 medium carrot
- ½ medium red capsicum
- 2 stems celery
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1 clove garlic
- 2 teaspoons chilli powder
- Sprinkle of chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Salt and black pepper
- 800 gram tin chopped tomatoes
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- Chopped coriander, spring onion, avocado and other toppings to serve
- Place beans in a medium size bowl, cover with water, add baking soda and stir. Allow to soak for 8 hours, or overnight.
- Dice red onion, carrot, capsicum, and celery. Peel sweet potato and chop into small chunks.
- Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or small stock pot over medium heat.
- Add vegetables to sauce pan. Sauté vegetables for a few minutes or until onions start to go clear and carrots begin to soften.
- Crush garlic and add to pot along with spices, tomatoes, and vegetable stock.
- Drain beans and rinse very well. Add to pot.
- Give everything a big stir and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for up to two hours. Stir every so often so that the chilli does not stick to the bottom of the pot. The liquid will reduce to a gravy-like consistency and the vegetables will soften during cooking time.
- Ladle into bowls, top with garnishes of choice and enjoy.
- Chilli will keep in the fridge for 3 days in an airtight container, or in the freezer in an airtight container for up to 2 months.
Despite our Sunday night stuffed-with-chilli tummy aches, we will definitely be making several more batches of this during the next few chilly months (oh, a pun at the end!).