The preparation recommendations outlined in Robin Robertson’s 2020 cookbook, The Plant-Based Slow Cooker (which I totally recommend), walk you through a simple basic bean recipe that you can use to make any recipe featuring dried beans. That is the slow cooker method I am using in this recipe, with Robin’s permission. It takes a little while, yes, but you will have the most tender, digestible beans as a reward and you will not be standing over a pot. Simply plan a little ahead for the soaking and cooking time and you will love every perfect bite. This recipe is for a 4- to 6-quart slow cooker.
Salt Soak Overnight
1 lb. dried beans, rinsed and picked over to remove any stones 2 tablespoons salt Water to cover
In a large bowl or pot, combine the above. The beans need to be fully submerged in the water by at least a few inches. Stir to dissolve the salt. Cover and keep at room temperature for eight hours. Pour off the soaking liquid and rinse the beans.
1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered 3 - 4 garlic cloves, smashed or crushed 2 bay leaves (optional, to tenderize and aid digestion) Small piece kombu (optional, same as above)
Transfer the beans to your slow cooker. Add the onion, garlic and bay leaves; cover with water by at least a few inches. Cover and cook on high for six to eight hours, depending on the beans. Remove the optional bay leaves and kombu; drain.
Farmers Market Chili
1 tablespoon olive oil or water or vegan broth as needed 1 yellow onion, diced 2 tablespoons garlic, minced 1 cup carrots, peeled and sliced 1 bell pepper (any color), seeded and chopped 1 - 2 hot peppers, seeded, pith removed and minced (optional) (I used poblano) 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce 2 tablespoons chili powder 2 teaspoons ground cumin 3 celery ribs, sliced or diced 24-ounces tomato purée 2 cups vegetable broth or water 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast Salt and pepper to taste Prepared beans 2 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted
In a skillet, heat the olive oil, water or broth over medium-high heat for one minute. Add the onions, garlic, bell pepper and hot peppers; cook, stirring often, for six minutes. Add the tamari, chili powder and cumin; stir and cook for an additional minute.
Add the celery, cooked beans, onion mixture, tomato purée, broth or water, nutritional yeast and salt and pepper. Set the cooker to low and set the timer to five hours. Add the thawed corn, stir and cook without the cover for five minutes or until the corn is cooked through. Add more seasonings to taste.