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This chilli contains quite a few different vegetables, and it's nicer with
a few different types of beans, so I like to make it in bulk. It's also
better with a long simmering time, so I make it at the weekends and freeze
it in individual portions. The credit for this recipe goes to Jacqueline
(don't know her last name!)

Vegetable Chilli

Serves 6-8

Initial Saute:
2 large onions
2 medium carrots
3 stalks celery
150ml (5 fl oz, just over 1/2 cup) red or white wine
1 tsp each of dried basil and dried oregano
1 bay leaf (or kaffir lime leaf if you feel exotic)

2 1/2 cans (about 600g, 21oz, 4 cups) mixed beans, eg kidney, pinto, adzuki
2 cans (800g, 1 3/4 lb, 3 1/4 cups) canned chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp mild chilli powder
2 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 tbsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp Chinese 5-spice powder (or a mix of ground nutmeg and cloves)
1-2 green chillies, heat to taste (optional)
1 tbsp stock powder, or 1 stock cube
1 tbsp mushroom soy sauce, or vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)
hot pepper sauce to taste (optional)

1 tbsp cider or white wine vinegar
6 tbsp tomato puree
salt and freshly-ground black pepper to taste

Sweetener of choice, to taste (optional)

2 (sweet bell) peppers, of different colours if possible
2 medium courgettes (zucchini) - about 200g (7oz) each
8-15 cloves garlic
1 326g can (2 cups) canned sweetcorn, or equivalent frozen unthawed

Chop the onions, carrots and celery into small dice. Saute them in
a large pan, either in vegetable stock, or using sunflower oil if
you prefer, for 5 minutes. Add the wine, basil, oregano and bay
leaf, and cook, stirring, until most of the wine has evaporated.
Add the drained beans, and the undrained tomatoes. Mix in the spices
along with 250ml (8 fl oz, 1 cup) water. Simmer for 40 minutes over
low heat, stirring occasionally.

Add the seasonings. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes, then taste
and sweeten with sugar, maple syrup, or anything else, if you think
it needs it. Now simmer for a long time - about 2 hours more
perhaps. While this is happening, prepare the vegetables - chop
the (sweet bell) peppers; quarter the courgettes (zucchini) lengthways
and slice; finely chop or crush the garlic; and drain the sweetcorn
if using canned. Don't thaw frozen sweetcorn yet though. Add the
peppers and courgettes about 40 minutes before you're going to stop
cooking it, and the garlic and frozen sweetcorn about 10 minutes
before the end. Don't add canned sweetcorn until you're about to
serve or freeze, then just give it long enough to heat through.


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