LouLou's Easy Veggie Chilli
2 Large Onions - Roughly Chopped
4 Cloves Garlic
1 Dried Red Chilli
1 Can Kidney Beans
75g - 100g Dried Soya Mince
A Dash Of Vegetable Or Olive Oil
1 Bottle Tomato Passata (690g) Or 2 Cans Of Chopped Tomatoes
Chilli Flakes, Or A Couple Of Drops Of Tabasco Sauce To Taste
Salt And Pepper To Taste
1. Add a dash of oil to a large pan, then add the crushed or finely chopped garlic, and the finely chopped chilli, cook for a few minutes until it's started to soften.
2. Then add the chopped onions to the pan, mix in and cook over a medium heat.
3. Meanwhile roughly chop your mushrooms.
Then drain your kidney beans - I normally give them a rinse under a running tap.
4. After about 10 minutes or so your onions should be softened but not coloured.
5. Add your mushrooms - don't panic if your pan is a bit full - the mushrooms will cook down
I usually pop a lid on to speed the process up a bit
6. After about 10 minutes they will have cooked down and will be soft
7. Add the kidney beans and mix in
8. Then add about 75g of dried soya mince to the pan and give it a mix. You can soak or boil up the mince in stock before adding it, but I just add it dry and cook it for long enough so it softens and absorbs some of the liquid and the flavours.
9. Finally add the tinned tomatoes, or the passata which is what I'm using here and a little bit of water to the pan, making sure everything is covered with liquid.
10. Leave to simmer for at least an hour giving it an occasional stir
11. Then have a little taste and adjust the seasoning, you can add some extra chilli flakes, or a couple of dashes of tabasco, and of course salt and pepper to suit your personal taste.You can serve it straight away of just leave it on a low simmer till your ready. As you can see the sauce has thickened and darkened. If the sauce is still a bit watery add a bit of extra dried soya mince and cook for around half an hour.
12. Then serve - I've served it with boiled rice, and a sprinkling of a mature grated cheddar,
Alter Me, Change Me
One of the great things about cooking is that unlike baking it's not an exact science, you can add what you like and take out what you don't like - here are just some of the ways that you can alter my recipe
-It goes without saying that you can vary the ingredients and amounts to what suits your palette, I like it hot so I normally throw in some chilli flakes, maybe a whole dry chilli, and a dash of Tabasco or hot pepper sauce, I also add lots of garlic because I love garlic
- Veggies - obviously you can forgo the soy or veggie mince, and just use vegetables to make your chilli, something with a good texture would be the best, aubergine, and courgette would be good - you could also add peppers too, yellow or red would work, as would carrots, leeks, pumpkin or squash chopped finely
- Beans - Whilst kidney beans are probably the most traditional UK ingredient, you can add whatever type of bean that you have, I've used lentils, sweetcorn, black beans, and chickpeas before and whispers I also love baked beans in my chilli, it gives a real sweetness and makes the sauce really thick.
- Sweetness and Depth - my mum likes to pop sultanas in her chilli, and you can also add a few squares of dark about 80% chocolate which sounds odd but it really makes a difference, and takes the humble chilli back to it's Mexican roots.
- I traditionally serve my chilli with boiled rice, but it's also amazing with pasta, baked potatoes, or sweet potatoes, tortilla chips, salad or even crusty bread.
- The cooking time on this is also variable I've left this for between an hour and two and a half hours on a low heat and it's fine just keep an eye on it.
- This recipe gives 4 generous portions - me and Mummy Lou normally have a portion each on the day it's made and then we just leave it to cool and refrigerate it. It keeps for a day or so covered in the fridge and all you need to do, is pop it in to a pan with a tiny bit of water or the microwave, and warm it till it's heated through. It actually tastes better after it's stood for a few days, as it gives the flavours a chance to develops
- This recipe could also be adapted to make a spaghetti bolognese, leave out the beans, and chilli and add some Italian herbs, such as basil and oregano, you can also use the bolognese and the chilli to make a lasagna or even a version of a shepherds pie.
I'm a bit embarrassed about calling this a recipe to be honest it's so easy to make, I'm guessing you've probably made something very similar yourself but if you haven't step away from the jarred sauce and the ready meals and give it a go yourself x If you have any questions please leave me a comment x