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pinto & red kidney bean chilli

There is something so very comforting about a chilli, especially on late summer evenings when Autumn is on the horizon and we start to look for comfort where ever we can. I love all the extras that go with a chilli, the guacamole ( you can never have enough guacamole), the cheese, the natural yoghurt…. Every mouthful a differnt delight for the taste buds.


This recipe can be made in advance and then easily heated up when you get back in from an invigorating swim or day on the mountain.This version we serve in late summer, with courgettes straight from the garden. In autumn though you can substitute the courgettes and red pepper for butternut squash and mushrooms. Both equally delicious and satisfying. It has been a very popular dish on our retreats, so here finally is the recipe for you to try at home.

(originally taken from Veg by Hugh Fernly Whittingsthall, then tweaked by me)


Serves 4 – 5

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil/rapeseed oil
3 onions, chopped
2 green chillies, to taste, deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp allspice
2 courgettes, cut in 1cm dice
1 red pepper, cored, deseeded and cut into 1cm dice
2 tbsp tomato puree
400g tin plum tomatoes, roughly chopped and any stalky
ends and skin removed
400g tin of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
400g tin of red kidney beans
A good handful of parsley, finely chopped
A good handful of coriander, finely chopped
A handful of fresh oregano or tsp of dried
1tsp honey
1tsp mustard
1tsp marmite
bouillion vegetable stock – or regular stock cubes
sea salt and freshly ground pepper



1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat, add the chopped onions and sweat, stirring from time to time until very soft and just starting to take some colour.

2. Add the chillies, garlic, cumin, cayenne and allspice and stir for a minute.

3. Add the courgettes and red pepper and stir to coat in the spices.

4. Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes with their juices, pinto beans, kidney beans,parsley, coriander, oregano, honey, mustard and marmite. Pour over 200ml of vegetable stock (enough to cover the veg) and add some salt and pepper. Simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the veg are all tender and everything is thick and saucy. If the veg starts to stick, add a little more water.

5. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a little more salt and/or pepper if you think it needs it.

6.  Serve with guacamole, soured cream or natural yoghurt, grated cheese, brown rice and a huge green salad.



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