Thursday, March 24, 2011

Black Bean & Barley Chili

Veggie Treat
I love a nice big bowl of vegetarian chili, it picks me up and comforts me. Winter is most definitely on the way out - so I may have to forget about dishes like these until Autumn - hurray! 
Black beans are great for you too, packed full of fiber and are also good at lowering cholesterol. I've been trying to cook with them for the last while, but haven't come up with anything with sharing until now. The colour that comes form the beans lends a really dark and 'meaty' tone to the dish.

Ingredients - Serves 4
1 tin of black beans
I large onion - finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic crushed
1 teaspoon of fresh rosemary - finely chopped
1 teaspoon of fresh thyme - finely chopped
2 carrots - finely cubed
1 cup of pearl barley
1 tin of tomatoes
1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of paprika
Dried or fresh chili to taste
2 tablespoons of olive oil

To serve
Fresh lime juice to taste
Cream Cheese - I used Yeats County Cream Cheese 
Freshly chopped parsley


  1. Put the peel form the onion, outer layer and the gratings from the carrots in a pot - cover with a small amount of water and bring to a boil, simmer while you make the rest of the dish.
  2. In a large high sided frying pan, gently sweat your onion in the olive oil. After a few minutes add the garlic. Once the onion is translucent, add in the fresh herbs (if you have fresh oregano all the better!) Cook for a further 2 minutes.
  3. Then add in the paprika and chili and stir briefly. Next stir in the tomatoes, beans, vinegar, carrot and pearl barley. Add in the stock you made with the onion and carrot. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for about 30 minutes until the barley is cooked. You might need to add a little more water so check on it every so often.
  4. To serve top with a good dollop of yummy cream cheese, add a good squeeze of lime and a healthy sprinkle of parsley. I'm sure that cream cheese and barley aren't traditional ingredients in a chili - but I don't care this was so satisfying.

You can serve with some rice, in Quesadilla, with corn chips - or anything else that is vaguely Mexican. 


Aoife Mc said...

I love chili, it is up there with the best comfort food. I add a good big dollop of Marmite to my veggie chili, adds a great meaty flavour to it. Yum!

Lu said...

oh never thought of adding marmite- cunning!