Not only have I been craving Pumpkin, Apples, Cinnamon, and Roasted Everything, but I have also been craving/needing something that is warm, comforting, and that you can eat with a spoon in a bowl, for days on end. That’s when I realized I needed some chili in my life ASAP. After a long day of freezing in school (I am telling you the classrooms are like 40 degrees and then some kid comes strolling in, declares they are so hot, opens all the windows and turns the fans on. I can’t take it. I have to learn in the Arctic). So when I get home I want something that will warm me up for dinner, get the chill out of my bones. So I made a huge pot of Veggie Bean Chili to savor and enjoy over the week. And you know what? It did the trick. Comfort in a bowl. Slightly spicy, full of veggies and two types of beans. I added some crunch my eating mine with some left over corn tortillas form my Savory Pumpkin Lentil Tacos!
Making chili, soup, or a stew isn’t just about a great warming meal. I always feel a little nostalgic when I make a big pot of soup. It always bring me back to the first time I ever cooked anything, which happened to be soup. I was probably like 6 or 7, I don’t remember the exact age, but I was young. It was the weekend so my dad was home and we started looking through some old recipes we found in the kitchen for something to make for dinner. But then we decided to just wing it and go to the grocery to pick up ingredients for a soup. We ended up buying a huge mish-mosh of every veggie you could possibly think of for a wonderful vegetable soup. (I am so made that I never wrote the list of ingredients done…) Even though we just through everything together it came out lovely. Family + Love + Veggies + Hot Soup = Amazing. From that day and that soup forward I would always bug my dad to cook with me, until I began cooking completely on my own. That day I learned of my love of cooking and have never looked back since! With cooking, especially soups, you can never get it wrong. It is a time for creativity and invention and a way to bring out your true personality through the flavors you create.
Comforting Veggie Bean Chili
- 4 Celery Hearts (chopped)
- 3 Whole Carrots (peeled and chopped)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (chopped
- 1 1/2 Cup Button Mushrooms (chopped)
- 1/2 of a Large Sweet Onion (finely chopped)
- 2 Handfuls of Kale (torn into bite sized pieces)
- 1 15oz Can of Kidney Beans (No-Salt Added)
- 1 15oz Can of Black Eyed Peas (No-Salt Added)
- 2 14oz Cans of Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes (No-Salt Added)
- 1 TB Chili Powder
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1 Tsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
- 1/4 Tsp Black Pepper
- 2 TB Dried Parsley
- 1 TB Dried Cilantro
- Prepare all your veggies (washed, chopped, etc.) then heat a large soup pot on the stove over high heat. Once the pot is hot add the veggies (carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, and bell pepper) and dry saute for about 5 minutes stirring constantly.
- Add in your spices and the two cans of tomatoes.
- After that open you beans and give them a good rinse, then throw them in the pot as well. Take an empty tomato can and fill it with water and throw that in the pot as well.
- Bring to a boil and then cover the pot and reduce heat to low for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. During the last 10 minutes add in the kale.
- Remove from heat and let it cool for a bit. Unless you are impatient like me and would rather burn your mouth…Serve with warm bread, taco shells, or a crunchy tortilla or what ever else you would like! Enjoy!
So tell me:
What is your earliest food memory? Who was the first one to introduce you to cooking?
What is your go-to cold weather comfort food?