white bean chili & winter vegetables

From Bon Appetit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse come a few recipes worthy of our permanent file.   Loaded with vegetables, including my previously avoided rooter – the parsnip – and zapped to perfection with a kick of complex chili flavor, we should eat white bean chili all winter long.  Chipotle chili powder transformed these vegetables from bitter or worse bland flavors to a savory well-rounded satisfying meal.  At the chili’s center, white beans, which we’ve been hailing since the NY Times published the study that heralded the Mediterranean diet as lowering heart disease by as much as 30%. Really, I did not get the numbers wrong. The first study to really prove the impact of a diet rich with beans, fish, and vegetables, and most interesting high levels of natural oils from olive oil to nuts.

Serve it as a meal with a leafy salad or a vegetable side dish.  Freezes well too.

[recipe]

white bean chili & winter vegetables

preptime: 20-30 minutes (depending on your choppin’ skills)                Makes 8 cups
cooktime: 30 minutes
1 T olive oil
2 leeks, white and 1″ of pale-green part, diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large carrots, peeled, cut into 1/4″ cubes
2 large or 3 medium parsnips, peeled, halved lengthwise if large (remove woody center, if needed), cut into 1/4″ cubes
1–1 1/2 T ground ancho chiles*
1 t  ground cumin
1/2 t dried oregano
2 t  kosher salt plus more for seasoning
1 1/4 c dried cannellini (white kidney) beans, soaked overnight (to yield about 3 cups) or two 15-oz. cans cannellini beans, rinsed
Cilantro leaves (optional)
1 ripe avocado, peeled, chopped
* Ground ancho chiles are available at Latin markets and in the spice section of some supermarkets.  I  used 1/2 chipotle powder and 1/2 chili powder.  Taste has you go.
  • Heat oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add leeks, garlic, and 2 T water. Cook until leeks are softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add carrots and parsnips; stir to coat. Cook, stirring often, until just beginning to soften, about 2 minutes.
  • Add ground chiles, cumin, oregano, and 2 tsp. salt. Stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Fold in beans. Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer to allow flavors to meld, about 30 minutes (if using soaked beans, cook until tender, which may take a few more minutes).
  • Season with salt.

Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired, and chopped avocado.

recipe adapted from bon appetit and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com

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