Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten Free Chilli

A recipe that manages to tick so many boxes and I love it. The secret to depth of flavour is good quality stock.


If you have the time make your own veggie stock by simply saving vegetable trimmings, onion skins, stalks from cabbage, parsley stalks, celery ends, carrot tops and bottoms, trimmings from mushrooms, garlic ends, leek roots and tops, pea pods – in fact anything that is clean and would have gone into the vegetable recycle bin. (not toxic rhubarb leaves)

Pop them into a box or bag and save in the freezer until you have sufficient to fill a huge pan.

When ready – take the frozen veg trimmings, cover with water, add two bay leaves (fresh or dried) and bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour or until the veggies are tender.  I often make this stock in 10-15 minutes in the pressure cooker.

Strain the stock and it is ready to go – it can even be reduced down further by boiling to achieve a more concentrated flavour.

In a large saucepan heat the oil then add the chopped onions and fry over a medium heat until softening but not turning brown.  Add then the chopped garlic, salt and pepper and mixed herbs.  Stir well then add the finely diced carrot and celery, cumin seed, coriander and lentils. Stir well then pour over the vegetable stock.

Bring to the boil then turn down and simmer over a low heat with the pan partially covered for 20-25 minutes. Stir from time to time to make sure it doesn’t burn on the base. During this time the lentils will absorb much of the stock and the sauce left will be thick and wholesome.


Add the chilli, tomato puree, tomatoes, beans and red pepper and cook for a further 10-15 minutes or until the red pepper is tender.


Taste and check the seasoning – adding more salt, pepper or chilli if necessary.


I then like to thicken the chilli without using flour by spooning out a cup or two into a separate jug and blitzing to a puree with a stick blender. Pour this then back into the chilli to thicken without needing any extra ingredients.


Serve with rice and a garnish of fresh chilli and coriander leaves if you have them.


This chilli is suitable for freezing.

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