Southwestern Veggie Chili

Every now and then I come across a recipe where I’m left with some delicious ‘waste’ product at the end of the day.  What happens to the flavorful by-product?  Well, I took inspiration from one of my Italian cooking classes (Hi Rose!) and found a way to use it all up.  In this case, I made chili with the broth left-over from cooking black beans for my black bean brownies.  The inspiration to use the broth in a soup come from Rose, our instructor, because whenever we made a classic Italian soup we poured everything from the can into the pot and stirred it up.  It was heartier and far more delicious than if we had left out those juices.  The funny thing is, its something that I spotted in a few of soup recipes in The Food Lab so all those Italian grandmothers are officially proven correct.  Again and again and again.

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After looking up a few chili recipes with black bean in them, I decided to continue taking some input from AllRecipes and Pioneer Woman.  As a mash-up of both recipes based on what’s in the pantry, I essentially went off in search of veggies, beans, tomatoes and anything that would give this chili a little bit of a kick.  So in went aromatics, beans, bean juice, tons of tomato products and quite a few spices.  How did it all turn out?  Spicy and hearty.  I’m really loving the texture of the Great Northern beans – I think I need more for next time!

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ps. I may have added some chicken and topped with grated parm

The recipe:

Ingredients:

2 onions, chopped
2 carrots. chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 Tbsp tomato paste
.2.5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of garbanzo beans
1 can of Great Northern beans
4-6 cups of bean broth – whatever is left after the beans

2 can of crushed tomatoes

Steps:
1. Add oil/butter to the pot and allow them to warm.  Next up, add the aromatics to the pot and cook until soft.  About mid-way through that process add the garlic (onions starting to look translucent).

2. Add in the tomato paste and spices(minus the bay leaf) to the pot to ‘bring them to life’ by heating them through a bit.  Make sure the crush the red pepper flakes in your hands as you add them.

3. Add in the beans and tomatoes then bring to a boil and simmer for at least 15 minutes.  Serve whenever you’re ready for dinner.

The beans are cooked – you’re just looking to bring everything up to temp.  Cooking things longer will break up the beans.  The flavor will intensify as time goes on.  Chili and lasagna are a few of the dishes that are even better the second day because the flavors unify over time.

Ideas for next time?  Roasted veggies as ‘croutons’.  Yes, please.  I’m thinking sweet potatoes.  Chicken.  It removes the veggie aspect but…I really wanted it this time.  Adjust the tomatoes. I think I’d like the tomatoes to be half crushed, half whole to distribute the flavor and get some of that great chunkiness that I associate with chili.  Finally, even more veggies!  Corn, peppers and/or zucchini.  Until next time, I’m off to enjoy all my nummy goodies some more.

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Topped soup with chicken and Parmesan

***Updated to included photos 9/27.  Sorry for the mistake!

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