I now (dare I say) prefer this to the meat version. And at £1.19 for 1kg of beans (after soaking) which makes 6 hearty portions, this is one of the most cost-effective meals I’ve ever made.
Like it’s meaty counterpart, there are loads of things you can do with a bean chilli. Burritos? Yep. Tacos? Yes, please. Teaming it with brown basmati rice and quinoa, jalapenos and avocado, yum. Or as the showstopper in a feast with pico de gallo salsa, homemade guacamole, harissa and the best tortillas you can get your hands on… The possibilities are endless.
My personal favourite is the taco feast. But it’s such a great make-ahead-and-freeze option, for those nights when you just can’t be arsed and need something healthy, quick and in my case this month, vegan!
This particular 10 bean mix from the ‘Love Life’ range in Waitrose was brought to my attention recently, and I was tasked with using at a.s.a.p, as they were about to go out of date.
I’ve since made this recipe countless times and bought the same mix again and again because it’s great. There are literally 10 different types of beans in there, and it’s £1.19. It’s a 500g packet that once soaked makes 1kg OF BEANS! Making this one of the most cost-effective meals I’ve ever made… Yay for veganism, and yay for Waitrose being cheap for once!
So the beans need to soak for a minimum of eight hours before you cook them. The longer they soak (after 8 hours) the softer they become. The first time I made it I soaked for 9 hours and the chilli had quite a bit of ‘bite’ almost like the Italian term al dente for pasta with bite.
The second time they soaked all day, and most of the night (12 hours in total) for a softer texture. Feel free to experiment as both are great, but I do prefer the one with a little more bite.
Once the beans are soaked, it’s just a matter of pulling it all together and letting it simmer. I cook it with the lid on for two hours on the lowest heat. Then, remove the lid and cook for a further 20-30 mins to intensify the flavours!
If you have a go at this recipe let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 500g dried assorted beans (I use this amazingly good value 10 bean mix from Waitrose)
- 2 onions, diced
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 900 ml good quality veg stock
- 1 400g tin tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 tbsp ancho chilli paste (optional)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tsp chilli powder
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
A day ahead, you’ll need to soak your beans. Soak them as per packet instructions then drain well.
In a large, lidded cooking pot, saute the onions in the oil for 5 mins over a medium heat until they begin to soften. Add the green chilli and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for another 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so until nice and fragrant.
Next, add the soaked, drained beans to the pot. Add the vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, ancho chilli paste and stir well to combine.
Add the soy sauce, chilli powder, ground cumin, bay leaves, dried oregano and cayenne pepper. Give it a generous twist of cracked black pepper too.
Cover and cook on low for 2 hours. Then remove the lid and cook for a further 20-30 mins to intensify the flavours. Add a splash more water if it seems dry.
Serve with your fave accompaniments, dig in and enjoy!
Some serving suggestions below: