I toyed with the idea of calling this ‘slow’ not just ‘slow-cooked’ because of all the soaking that goes on beforehand. But trust me, it’s worth it.
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 rice and quinoa bowls, 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 too, 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in Waitrose was brought to my attention recently, and I was tasked with using at a.s.a.p, as they were about to go out of date.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 twice (to make sure it’s spot on) and bought the same mix 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 sauteeing the onions etc. in a pan then transferring everything to a slow cooker to let it do its thing. I slow-cooked it on low for 8 hours covered, then when I got in left it for 1 hour with the lid off on high 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!
What you need
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
- 500g dried assorted beans (I use this 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 paste
- 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
What to do
A day ahead, you’ll need to soak your beans. Soak them as per packet instructions then drain well.
In a frying pan, 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 slow cooker. Then add the vegetable stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, ancho chilli paste and stir well to combine.
Add the onion, chilli and garlic mix then also add; the soy sauce, chilli powder, ground cumin, bay leaves, dried oregano and cayenne pepper.
Cover and cook on low for 8 hours. Then remove the lid and cook on high for 1 hour (with the lid off) to intensify the flavours.
Serve with your fave accompaniments and enjoy!