Saturday, October 15, 2011

Black Bean Chili

Dear Jess,

What an amazing Thanksgiving weekend last weekend! So much sunshine! Jason and I joined my family at our cottage for Friday night until Sunday afternoon. We got some rest, went on a hike, made lots of Dad's homemade secret recipe pizza, had a huge bon-fire with smores, and Jason even went swimming! We then traveled to Bethany area to have dinner with his mom and family. On Monday we got up early and trekked to Bancroft for lunch/dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's cabin where we enjoyed some four-wheeling, a tractor/hay ride, and family time. So much fresh air, sunshine, playing and eating!

This recipe I got from the latest issue of Food and Drink. I made it a couple weeks ago, and am now just posting it (so busy with autumn things!) It says it's a chili, but Jason and I have decided we will call it a soup. As you know I love cooking in the fall. All the root veggies are in season, and my recipes turn from light and cheerful to warm and comfy.

We made this one last minute, and it is a winner for sure with all of your favourite fall flavours! Even though there is no meat, it was not lacking in substance. I actually used dried beans (like it suggests) for the first time, and it makes such a difference in the flavour! (although it does stink up your house a little...) The sour cream and scallion garnish is a nice touch as well. I then made Raspberry and Dark Chocolate Scones with whole wheat flour for dessert. They taste just a good with whole wheat as they do with plain white!

Black Bean Chili with Fall Root Vegetables
1 cup dried black beans (you can use canned black beans if you want)
Water to cover
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp chopped garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced, optional
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dry oregano
2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 cup parsnips, peeled and diced
2 cups carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup artichokes (we used canned ones)
1 can tomatoes, chopped with juices (we used fresh ones)
4 cups vegetable stock or water
2 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt to taste

1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped red onion

1. Cover beans with water and bring to boil. Let sit 1 hour, drain and return beans to pot. Add fresh water to cover. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer for 45-50 minutes or until tender but not soft (they cook again in the chili).

2. Heat oil in large pot on medium heat and add onion. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeno and cook for 30 seconds then add cumin, oregano, chili powder and paprika and saute for 1 minute.

3. Add parsnips, carrots and artichokes and saute until coated in spices. Add tomatoes and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or until parsnips are beginning to soften. Add black beans and sweet potatoes and simmer 15-20 minutes longer or until all vegetables are tender and flavours are combined. Stir in parsley and season with salt to taste. Serve with bowls of grated cheese, sour cream and chopped onion for garnish.

** If you are using canned beans, add them after all the root vegetables have been cooked. I added the canned artichokes at the very end, as they did not need to be cooked, just heated.**

I hope your Thanksgiving weekend was enjoyable and full of sunshine and relaxation. Even though we seemed to be driving all over the place, the weather made each moment a relaxing one. I love you and miss you! Can't wait for our next visit.


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