I love chilli – its smoky warmth is perfect as the nights come on earlier, the leaves fall and there’s mist and woodsmoke on the air. This vegan chilli is just that ticket – smoky, savoury and super comforting.
As you’ll know from my instagram feed and past posts I’m reducing my meat intake, especially red meat. But, like the roasted veggie lasagne, as time has gone on I’ve started to prefer the veggie versions of things far more than their meat counterparts, especially when that meat is minced beef or lamb.
I made this vegan chilli to eat on my lap, snuggled up in blanket and pjs whilst I watched a film (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban FYI). Meaning to serve this over some standard rice, I suddenly started to crave nachos, but being 7pm on a Sunday and pouring with rain there was no way I could get any tortilla chips. Lucky for me Ryvita had sent me some of their products to try, so I used their sweet chilli thins and it actually really worked. The sharp spice of the thins was dulled a little by the smoky mushroom chilli, but added a) a welcome and well needed crunch and b) the sweet/saltiness married perfectly.
I’m not vegan, so served this with cheese and sour cream, but feel free to serve with guac, vegan cheese or anything else you like.
Mushroom and kidney bean vegan chilli
Serves 4 – takes 45 minutes
1 ancho pepper, stalk removed
100ml boiling water
1 punnet of portobello or chestnut mushrooms, diced
1 onion, diced
2 red peppers, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
1.5 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried thyme
1.5 tsp sweet, smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp hot paprika
1 400g chopped tomatoes
1 tsp tomato ketchup (or puree with 1/2 tsp caster sugar)
1 400g can kidney beans, drained
10g 70% cocoa dark chocolate or 1/2 tsp cocoa powder (check vegan)
1 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
Shake of Tabasco
Oil for cooking
Salt and pepper
- Boil a kettle and rehydrate the ancho pepper in a small bowl, put to one side until needed.
- Over a high heat put a large heavy bottomed pan and add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt – give them space as you want to cook the water out, so if your pan is a little small, then cook in two batches. Cook the mushrooms until they start to brown at the edges – like browning meat this adds an extra savouriness to the finished dish.
- Once the mushrooms have reduced, softened and started to brown, take them off the heat and keep in a bowl on one side. Put the pan back on the heat, drop to medium and add a glug of oil. Add the onions and peppers then cook until softened (about five minutes) – drop the heat if they’re starting to brown – then add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
- Add the mushrooms back in and add the herbs and spices, stir to combine.
- Once combined add the beans and tomatoes, the bay, soy, ketchup, vinegar and chocolate/cocoa. Slice the ancho chilli and then add with the water it was soaking in. Stir, taste and add tabasco and extra seasoning to taste.
- Cook over a medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the beans are soft and the chilli has thickened slightly. Check the seasoning again and serve with rice, nachos, guacamole, jalapeños (cheese, sour cream – for the non-vegans!) or whatever else you love with your chilli.