Making chili, soup, or a stew isn't just about a great warming meal. I always feel a little nostalgic when I make a big pot of soup. It always brings me back to the first time I ever cooked anything, which happened to be soup. I was probably 6 or 7, I don't remember the exact age, but I was young. It was the weekend so my dad was home and we started looking through some old recipes we found in the kitchen for something to make for dinner. But then we decided to just wing it and go to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for a soup. We ended up buying a huge mishmash of every veggie you could possibly think of for a wonderful vegetable soup. I am so mad that I never wrote the list of ingredients down!
Even though we just threw everything together it came out lovely. Family + Love + Veggies + Hot Soup = Amazing. From that day and that soup forward I would always bug my dad to cook with me, until I began cooking completely on my own. That day I learned of my love of cooking and have never looked back since! With cooking, especially soups, you can never get it wrong. It is a time for creativity and invention and a way to bring out your true personality through the flavors you create.
Comforting Veggie Bean Chili
4 celery hearts, chopped
3 whole carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 large sweet onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 tablespoon dried cilantro
2 14-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes, no salt added
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, no salt added
1 15-ounce can black eyed peas, no salt added
2 handfuls kale, torn into bite-sized pieces
1. Prepare all your veggies, then heat a large soup pot on the stove over high heat. Once the pot is hot add the veggies, and dry sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
2. Add in your spices and the two cans of tomatoes.
3. Rinse your beans, then throw them in the pot as well. Take an empty tomato can and fill it with water, and throw that in the pot as well.
4. Bring to a boil, and then cover the pot and reduce heat to low for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally. During the last 10 minutes add in the kale.
5. Remove from heat, and let it cool for a bit. Unless you are impatient like me and would rather burn your mouth. Serve with warm bread, taco shells, a crunchy tortilla, or whatever else you would like! Enjoy!