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Lately I’ve made it a habit of going to a local coffee shop to write my blog posts and work on my blog.  It has been really nice to get out of the house and have a place that feels like “my office.”  Today, however, I am at a coffee shop that I haven’t visited in a while and I am thrown off.  Isn’t it amazing what a difference a place makes and how that place can change depending on how you perceive it?  It really goes to show that we as people are not static but always changing and evolving with time.

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I didn’t really have any great motivation to make this chili except that our house gets very cold in the evenings, so I’m always trying to have a soup in the freezer.  Every time I make a vegetable soup I end up using frozen vegetable broth and making a fresh batch of vegetable broth with the scraps.  It feels really good to know that nothing will go to waste and I’ll save some money in the process.

The idea for this chili came from two cookbooks that I’ve been reading lately, Small Plates & Sweet Treats and True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure.  I wanted the soup to be thick enough to eat with cheese and crackers and I didn’t want to go without vegetables.  I bought a bunch of multi colored organic carrots and I don’t think I can turn back.  The yellow and red carrots add a variety of flavor that I love!  I was turned on to rutabaga this fall and I love the earthiness.  It might be a mental thing, but I feel so much better if I go for a rutabaga or turnip than potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups jacobs cattle beans or pinto beans
  • 1 lb grass fed beef, ground
  • 2 Tbs expeller pressed canola oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 small-medium carrots, chopped
  • 1-1/2 red peppers, chopped
  • 1 small red chili pepper, minced
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 6 small tomatoes, blanched & diced
  • 1 medium rutabaga, peeled & diced
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp paprika or cayenne pepper
  • 4 small sprigs fresh oregano
  • 1 Tbs medium roast brewed coffee

Directions

  1. Soak the beans overnight in a large pot covered with 2 inches of cold water. The next day, ensure that the beans are covered by 1 inch of water.  Place the pot over medium-high heat and bring the water to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer. Watch the beans as you prepare the vegetables to ensure they are covered with 1 inch of water.
  2. In a large pan, brown the ground beef over medium heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In a separate large pan, heat the canola oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 1 minute.  Add the garlic and incorporate. Add the carrots until fully incorporated, followed by the red pepper.  Saute until the onions are tender.  Season with the cumin, turmeric, salt & pepper.  Set aside.
  4. Add 4 cups of vegetable broth and the vegetable mixture to the beans.  Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low.  Add the blanched tomatoes and continue to cook for 1-1/2 hours total (from when the beans were started).
  5. Add the diced rutabaga and cook for another hour or until the beans are tender and the  rutabaga is pierced easily with a fork.
  6. Add the ground cinnamon, paprika, oregano, coffee about 15 minutes before serving.

Note: I am new to using Turmeric and decided to experiment with it here.  It seems to be most common in curries.  In the future, I would use 1 Tbs of cumin and omit the turmeric.

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