Things are little chaotic around me at the moment; and the rain falling horizontally is not cheering me up either. So I hope you won't mind me sharing with you this 'Black Bean and Red Pepper Stew' that I made a little while ago.
The recipe is described as a stew, yet it reminded me more of a 'vegetarian chilli bean'. Despite the number of spices in this this stew, it wasn't overly spicy, just warming. I liked the flavour of the creamy black beans and the crunch of the red pepper. As with most stew and chilli like recipes, this tasted much better the day after, so its worth making in advance and reheating.
Serves 4 - 6
300g black beans, soaked overnight
5 cups of water
½ teaspoon salt
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 stalks of celery, peeled and sliced
3 – 4 cloves garlic, sliced
3 teaspoons cumin, keep half of them whole, ground the other half
1½teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried basil (optional)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 red onion, chopped into pieces
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
Salt to taste
Handful of fresh coriander, chopped
Rinse and drain the beans, Place in a medium pan with water, ¼ teaspoon salt and bay leaf. Bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours, or until beans are soft. When the beans are cooked, drain them in a colander, reserving the cooking liquid.
In a large pan, heat the oil. Add the onions, garlic and celery and cook for 10 - 15 minutes or so until soft, then add in all the spices and cook for 5 minutes, before adding in the chopped tomatoes. Stir and simmer for 10 minutes, then add in the chopped pepper and black beans. Cook on high heat for 5 minutes, then stir in the remaining cooked liquid and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes until all the ingredients come together as a good stew. Taste and adjust seasoning and sprinkle with coriander. Adapted from Food for the Spirit by Manuela Dunn Masceti and Arunima Borthwick.