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Cashew Chili

2 to 3 cups cooked kidney or pinto beans (1 cup dry)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 4 medium onions, chopped
2 green peppers, chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped, optional
3 or more cloves garlic, mashed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder, or more
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 quart tomatoes
1 or 2 grated carrots
freshly ground pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 to 1 cup cashews (roasted)
1 handful raisins or 1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup (or more) red wine vinegar or cider vinegar

Soak beans overnight, boil separately. In a large pot stir fry
onions, green peppers, celery, and garlic. Add spices and herbs
and stir fry them as well - be careful not to burn the spices
(frying the spices now instead of adding them later makes a BIG
difference in the taste). Break up the tomatoes and add them, along
with any juice, to the frying vegetables. Add carrots, ground
pepper, bay leaf, nuts (I wait and add the nuts about 10 minutes
before serving so they don't get as soft), raisins, and salt. Add
the cooked beans. Simmer (covered) until it's done. Add the vinegar
a little at a time, tasting between additions, just before serving.
Add beer if desired to thin the chili.

Serve with Monterey jack cheese and cornbread.


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