The fall is upon us folks. I won’t bother you with overused blustery-wind, sweater-weather cliches, but what I will say is that there is nothing like the smell of a warm meal cooking in a slow cooker to greet you at the door when you return home from your cool-air adventures. While creating this recipe I found myself remembering really neat things about my childhood and teenage years; kindly forgive my short trip down memory lane, my birthday is tomorrow, so there, hmph. I remember playing outside for hours after school with neighborhood friends and jumping in the enormous pile of leaves my parents had just raked. I remembered returning home after cross country practice and having my completely ravenous appetite met with a warm, super filling, delicious soup (thanks Mom). I remember the feeling of home. It is funny how quickly another place becomes your new “home” but it will never replace the one in which you grew up. These are some of the memories that, yes, the slow cooker brought back to me. Call me silly I don’t mind, but when you start cooking this recipe and start smelling the amazing creation that is brewing, just try to tell me you don’t think of your childhood and the beautiful days of fall you spent frolicking in the crispy leaves. Yup, that’s what I thought: slow cooker= time machine.
Hearty Autumn Chili
1 can-6 oz. tomato paste
2 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped roughly
into large chunks
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1.5 cup cooked chickpeas
1.5 cup cooked black beans
1 bell pepper, cut into chunks
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 russet potato, peeled and chopped into large chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. sea salt
Pinch brown sugar
Pinch ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper
Turn on slow cooker and set to high, drop oil in bottom of basin add brown sugar to the oil and heat for about 2 minutes to coat the bottom
Drop in onions and garlic and let cook for about one minute
Slowly add the tomatoes and mix with the onions, let cook for about 5 minutes
Carefully add vegetable broth and water to mix, let sit with cover for about 10 minutes, use this time to chop potato, pepper & carrots and to ready the beans
Add the potatoes and carrots slowly to the slow cooker and stir gently then add the beans and slowly stir again
Add the spices and mix throughout
Let cook for three to four hours on high (or about 8 hours on low if leaving it cooking all day)
Enjoy your easy, warm, hearty, allergen-free chilli that basically cooked itself!
Happy Friday all!
SIDE NOTE: Please be careful if you plan on leaving the house while your slow cooker is working its magic! Clear the area of anything that is NOT heat proof and make sure no pets can come in contact with the slow cooker in any way. Just be smart.
More allergen-free Freedom Friday recipes: Banana Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
More Hearty Fall Dinner Ideas: No Chicken Pot Pie
Also by Kate: How to Celebrate Your Birthday Meaningfully
Photo: Kate Coffey