I have long been entranced by the pasilla pepper. It’s a longer pepper, not too fat or thin, fairly large (especially if it’s placed alongside all those teensy adorable chile peppers) and most beautiful color of smokey green I’ve ever seen. It is just a gorgeous vegetable. And you know what? It’s super tasty too! I’ve eyed these lovely peppers in the supermarkets for a long time but was never quite sure what the perfect recipe for them would be. So I would move past them and think “Next time, when I know how I want to use you.” About a year after I first noticed these vegetables I finally bought one. And my plan was simple: white bean chili. Of course, my recipe is vegetarian. But you’ve heard of white chicken chili before yes? This recipe would definitely go well with some shredded up chicken breast pieces and chicken broth instead of the vegetable broth. Yum! I have only one regret about this soup: I didn’t have a chance to char the pasilla peppers as I wanted to. Now that we have moved (I should really change my kitchen photos on this page, I know) we no longer have a gas stove. We sacrificed it for a MASSIVE space upgrade (we really do have more space than we can use now and in our old apartment we were tripping all over ourselves) and an Arizona room. It was worth it, in the end. However that means no quick charring from the gas stove. I suppose you can do it on an electric stove, but I don’t think it would be quite the same. Anyway, I know it’s summer now, but you can still try this out. Maybe make this as a side dish to a really lovely, enormous salad. There’s no one that says you have to have a huge bowl of soup when you make it…eat a smaller one so you don’t get overheated and freeze the rest for little lunch soups the rest of the week. And remember this recipe when the snow rolls ’round again!
White Bean Chili with Pasilla Peppers
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pasilla chili pepper, diced
3 tablespoons flax seeds
1 1/2 cups white rice
4-6 cups vegetable broth
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon oregano
3 tablespoons dried cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped green chile
2 15-oz. cans white kidney beans
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil till tender.
2. Add the pasilla pepper and flax seeds. Stir and cook 3 minutes.
3. Add the rice and vegetable broth. Mix well and cook 5-7 minutes.
4. Add the tomatoes, bay leaves, basil, oregano, cilantro and green chile. Simmer 3-4 minutes.
5. Add the kidney beans and simmer till rice is tender and the skin of the beans splits when you blow on them, about 5 minutes. Serve hot.