Last year, I lived at Collins LLC here at IU. The great thing about Collins is that every day (or almost every day), there is an all-you-can-eat buffet, not once, but twice a day. Sometimes the food is super random, though. You basically never know what you’re going to get. I remember one day I had vegan pancakes and breadsticks. Messed up, I know.
So all of the people who live in Collins have their favorite Collins foods. My friend Maranda’s for example, is Meatloaf. Another popular one is calzone night, they even turn the disco ball on for this one! My favorite, though, was Vegan White Bean Chili.
Since I’ve moved from Collins into my own apartment and no longer have meal points to support me, I miss that chili. I’ve decided to recreate it, so here we have…
VEGAN WHITE BEAN CHILI
I made this chili a couple of times, trying to perfect it. I think I’ve found a good combination of ingredients.
This white bean chili is an interesting mix of spicy pepper flavors and Italian garlic-y spices. It sounds weird, I know, but I am quite the fan!
THE RECIPE ACCORDING TO THE HEARTY HERBIVORE
3 medium carrots, chopped*
1 small white onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, 1 chopped, 1 whole*
2 Tablespoons garlic
2 cans white beans
1 can chickpeas
1 can chopped green chilies
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Cumin*
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
Line a large stock pot with water. Saute onions, cilantro, carrots, chopped jalapeno pepper, and garlic on medium-high heat until onions are translucent.*
Add white beans and chick peas, stirring to incorporate thoroughly.
Add green chilies, stirring to incorporate thoroughly.
Stir in cumin and garlic powder.
Add bay leaf and un-chopped jalapeno pepper for flavor.
Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 35-40 minutes, or until whole jalapeno pepper is tender.*
Add salt and pepper to taste.*
Remove from heat. Remove bay leaf and pepper before serving.*
*You can use more or less carrots. I’m usually not a big fan of carrots, but I absolutely adore them when they’re in a soup, so I used a lot.
*I also love cumin! It’s become one of my favorite spices! You can use more, or less. I kind of eyed a tablespoon, so it may have been a bit more. 🙂
*I like to saute using water when possible. This way, you’re cutting out the fat from oil.
*The jalapeno pepper should be pretty tender. In my case, I stirred it around a few times and pushed it down into the soup with a wooden spoon, pressing it against the bottom of the pan. This took all the juices out of the pepper and added some spice!
*I didn’t add any salt or pepper. If you use a bay leaf, you usually don’t need to add any salt.
*If the pepper breaks in half or you cut it in half when extracting the juices, try to get any beans out that have gotten inside the pepper. I actually broke some of the pepper apart and left it in the soup when I ate it.
This soup is almost as good as the soup at Collins! It’s got the good spicy-ness that I like, and is packed with flavor! The recipe makes about 6 servings, so I’ve been eating soup for a week, but I’m definitely not complaining.
I added the chickpeas to the recipe because plain white beans bore me to death.
My thing about carrots in soup is usually that they are too mushy and the flavor is completely taken out of them. That’s why I only cooked the soup for about 40 minutes. This gave the soup a bit more texture and crunch.
BEST PART OF THE RECIPE
So the best part of this recipe is also the worst part of this recipe. After I combined everything and my soup was cooking, I went and did a 30 minute workout. I had been stuffy for a few days, and my nose began to run in the midst of my workout. I went to blow my nose and some left over jalapeno juice from my hands got in my nose! It was one of the most painful experiences ever.
I ran to the bathroom to wash my face, and could not get the terrible sting out of my nose. Eventually, as in the next day, it went away and so did my stuffy nose! I’m not sure if it was because of the spicy-ness or if it was just a coincidence…
Seriously, folks, don’t try that at home.
By the way, did I mention I’m a redhead now?