Try out these quintessential winter warmers in all their heartiness and comforting aroma: vegetable chili and heartwarming chicken soup.
*Yields 4 generous or 6 smaller servings
*Optional toppings: coriander, grated cheese, sour cream, diced jalapeno
Strain and rinse both tins of beans and set aside in a bowl covered with warm water and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar or squeeze of lemon juice, this will aid in digestion and absorption of nutrients and reduce the flatulence and bloating that can sometimes be experienced when eating beans.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and sweat chopped onion, garlic, chili and spices in olive oil, stirring occasionally until translucent and fragrant.
Add chopped capsicum and pumpkin and saute for an additional 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add both tins of tomatoes along with one tin full of either water or stock of choice and salt and pepper to season.
Strain and rinse the beans then add to the pot. Cover and simmer over medium low heat for 1 hour stirring occasionally to let the flavours develop.
If you like a thick chili, mashing ever so lightly with a potato masher will give the perfect result.
Enjoy over rice or atop a pile of spinach for an extra veggie hit with a sprinkle of chopped coriander, and if not dairy free some grated cheese and a dollop of sour cream for a more decadent option.
Like a bolognaise, the flavour is even better the next day and is equally delicious served over baked sweet potato, on top of corn chips or in a tortilla.
This fibre rich, microbiome loving chili is very versatile and can also be made into a meat based version by adding beef mince, chicken thighs or other protein of choice when cooking the onions and garlic.
*Pinto beans are also another delicious high fibre option. Variety and diversity is key for supporting the microbiome through diet.
One generous serve of this chili yields nearly half of your daily fibre requirements, about 13 g of the 25-30 g recommended intake. This amount will increase if enjoyed atop a serve of brown rice (1.4 g) or sweet potato (3.3 g), in a tortilla (2.5 g for multigrain) or with corn chips (2.7 g), organic corn chips that are low in sodium and unflavoured are the best option.
This is a delicious way to achieve your recommended daily fibre intake.
Heartwarming Chicken Soup
Place whole chicken in a large pot and pour over chicken broth adding extra water as needed until chicken is completely covered. Add bay leaves, the tops of the celery, one diced onion, salt and pepper. Cover and let simmer on low heat (roughly 1 hour) until chicken easily comes away from the bones.
While chicken simmers, chop the remaining vegetables and set aside. Chunkier vegetables will take longer to cook and result in a chunkier soup while finely chopped vegetables will cook quicker.
Once chicken is cooked, strain poaching liquid from the chicken into a large bowl. This liquid is now the powerhouse broth that you will use for the soup.
Set chicken aside to cool.
In the same large pan used to simmer the chicken place over medium heat and add butter and a splash of olive oil. Once melted together add the chopped onion and garlic with salt, pepper and thyme cooking until translucent, stirring occasionally.
Next add the chopped carrot and celery and pour reserved broth into the pan. Cover and let simmer until carrots are cooked through. Roughly 30 minutes.
While the veggies simmer, remove the meat from the chicken separating bones and skin from meat (discard bones and skin). Chop or shred the cooked chicken.
Once vegetables are cooked through add in the shredded chicken and chopped greens of choice.
This will be more the consistency of stew and thicken once cooled due to the gelatin content. If you like more of a soup texture you can simply add more water or chicken stock when you are simmering the vegetables.