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    • Randy Graham

    • January 2, 2014 in Columnists

    Hearty Chili Bean Soup

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    I first developed this as a vegan chili for the many chili cook-off events in which I used to participate. Our son, Robert, helped serve at the cook-offs. Although the chili never won any awards, it was unique, interesting, and a welcome addition to the meaty chili dishes.

    One rainy winter afternoon, I wanted hot soup, but also had a hankering for chili beans. I dusted off my old chili beans recipe and tweaked it into a superb, hearty soup. This vegan recipe uses a slow cooker to maximize flavor.

    Get it started at noontime and it will be ready for dinner. Serve with fresh, hot cornbread, and a garden salad for a completely nutritious and delicious meal.

    2 cans (15 oz.) organic pinto beans (do not drain)
    2 ½ cups water
    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 large onion (chopped)
    3 to 4 cloves garlic  (crushed)
    1 large bell pepper (chopped)
    1 carrot (diced)
    1 red potato (unpeeled and diced)
    1 28-ounce can organic diced fire roasted tomatoes (do not drain)
    2 jalapeno peppers (seeded and diced)
    2 tablespoons Better Than Bouillon Vegetable Base
    1 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
    2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
    1 heaping tablespoon chili powder
    2 teaspoons Tabasco Sauce
    1 teaspoon sea salt
    1/4 teaspoon white pepper

    Add beans and liquid to slow cooker with water. Turn cooker on high and cover.

    Add oil, onions and garlic to a large skillet and sauté over medium heat for about 7 minutes. Add bell pepper, carrot, potato, stewed tomatoes (including their liquid) and jalapeno peppers. Deglaze pan and cook for another 5 minutes.

    Add onion mixture and the remaining ingredients to slow cooker, cover and cook on high for approximately 4 hours.

    Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

    Robert serves vegetarian chili at Roseville fundraiser.

    See Chef Randy’s website for more recipes at: http://valley-vegetarian.com

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