Bean and Corn Chili

chili

This soup takes a little planning, and its worth the forethought to do so, but all is not lost if you decide in the morning that nothing sounds better than a warm pot of chili for dinner…

Rinse and soak 2 c. of dried beans, using 2-4 types, in a large pot, covering beans with at least 2 inches of water.  (I used black beans, soy beans, Jacob’s Cattle, and garbanzo beans).

dried-beans

In the morning, rinse, add fresh water (again covering by at least 2 inches) bring to a simmer and then turn on low and cook for 30-60 minutes until beans are tender.  Taste test after 30 minutes.  You don’t want them mushy, nor crunchy.

Drain, rinse and set aside.

If you didn’t soak your beans the night before, do a quick soak in the morning.  Rinse beans, cover with water, bring to a boil and then turn off and let the beans soak for 2 hours.  Rinse and proceed with the cooking as above.

To Assemble Chili:

Heat 2 Tbsp. canola oil in soup pot.  Saute 2 medium/large chopped yellow onions, 2 c. diced bell peppers, and 6 minced cloves of garlic until onions are translucent.

Add and stir to coat: 2 tsp. salt (taste as you go), 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 1 Tbsp. chili powder and 1/2 of a crushed cayenne pepper (more or less to taste).

Add the equivalent of approximately 2 quarts of tomato liquids.  I use a combination of my homemade tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and tomato juice. (This is the juice I drain off my tomatoes before cooking up my tomato sauce.  After too many years of tossing this out I realized what an amazing juice we were discarding!  Now I freeze juice in ice cube trays to use lavishly or sparingly as the mood hits.)

Add the cooked beans and 1-2 c. frozen corn.

Stir in: 1 tsp. honey, 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce (or balsamic vinegar) and 1-2 tsp. dried oregano.

Simmer on low for 30 minutes.  Ideally cool down, store in the garage for a day (in the winter!) and serve the next day.  Or make early in the day, set outside to cool, and then heat up for dinner.  This allows the seasonings time to more fully infuse the soup.  Most soups are better the second day, and this is no exception–though its quite remarkable the first day, too!

Serve as is, or with a side of cornbread, drizzled with honey…

 

 

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