On cold wintry nights, if you are yearning for a hearty, spicy and warming casserole that is vegetarian, then this one is for you. You can serve over corn chips and make vegetarian nachos or other optional toppings are pickled jalapenos, crème fraiche, sour cream, coriander leaves, avocado or guacamole and hot sauce. The dish is relatively easy to make and using tinned beans halves the cooking time.
I used a combination of borlotti beans, red kidney beans and black beans. Any combination of dark coloured beans would work well.
100g onions, finely diced
2-3 sticks celery, finely diced
200g carrots diced into a small cube
200g orange kumara or sweet potato, peeled and diced into a small cube
200g mushrooms, sliced or quartered
5 tablespoons of vegetable oil like canola
200g tinned tomatoes, crushed well
5 cloves of garlic, chopped and minced with the back of knife
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon cumin seed powder
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast powder (I use Braggs)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup of vegetable stock
2 x 400g can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed and ½ tin of brine saved
2 x 400g can of borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
1 x 400g can of black turtle beans, drained and rinsed
Salt to taste
In a Dutch oven or a deep heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil. When the oil is hot, fry the onion, celery, carrot and garlic for 3-4 minutes on moderate heat.
Add the oregano, cumin seed powder and paprika and continue frying for another minute.
Mix in the tomato paste along with the vegetable stock. Let the liquid come up to the boil, then add the beans and remaining vegetables.
Stir in the half tin of reserved brine and the tomatoes. Pour 2 cups of water, mix well and let it come up to the boil. Put the nutritional yeast powder if using and mix well.
Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 20 minutes until the vegetable pieces are soft and cooked.
Check seasoning and add salt if you need to, keeping in mind that the stock, brine and beans are already salty.
Serve hot with your optional toppings. Serves 6 generous portions.