I started reading about the origins of chili, and I didn’t think I’d find much, because it makes so much sense as a dish. But then I read that chili doesn’t have beans in it, and my mind was blown. No beans in chili? They are so serious about it, there is even a song, one line “If You Know Beans About Chili, You Know That Chili Has No Beans.” In the Official Rule Book of the Chili Appreciation Society International, and their chili cook offs, beans are considered… “filler” and are prohibited.
Since hearing that, part of me wants to attempt a vegan chili without beans, but I’d probably feel sad about it afterwards. A big poor pot of delicious chili… missing some of my favourite ingredients: red kidney beans, black beans or chickpeas.
My favourite quote was:
“Some Spanish priests were said to be wary of the passion inspired by chile peppers, assuming they were aphrodisiacs. A few preached sermons against indulgence in a food which they said was almost as “hot as hell’s brimstone” and “Soup of the Devil.” The priest’s warning probably contributed to the dish’s popularity.” ( More info)
So of course, I had to make some devil soup. There are countless recipes for both vegan chili on the internet and cookbooks, but this is the recipe I threw together for my chili. It was smokey and had rich dark chocolaty undertones to it, but I think it could have been spicier. Next time I’ll finally chop up a jalapeno or two.
Vegan Slow-Cooked Chili
2 cans of drained Red Kidney Beans
1 cup of soaked (formerly dried) black beans
1/2 cup of red lentils
1 can crushed tomatoes
1 cup of corn kernels (canned or frozen… or fresh of the cob if you are so inclined)
1 8oz can of tomato paste
6 cups of water
1 large onion, chopped and sauteed
2-4 cloves of garlic (I used 4)
1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
1 tsp paprika
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 cup TVP
ground black pepper (as much as you like!)
- Soak the black beans over night
- Turn an 8-10 qt crock pot on high.
- Drain and rinse the canned kidney beans. Add to pot. Add the water!
- Add the crushed tomatoes, black beans, corn kernels and lentils. Stir in the tomato paste.
- Saute the garlic, onion, and red pepper flakes with the paprika, and throw in your crock pot when onions become translucent.
- Toss in the bay leaves, soy sauce, stir in the TVP and add as much black pepper as you’d like.
- Stir it all together again, cover, turn the crock pot to low, and cook for 6 hours.
- Eat and enjoy!
As a result of this, I had a huge amount of chili that fed two of us (with big appetites) for three-four days. On the plus side, it freezes well, so if you end up in chili overload, you can save it for another time!