Bean Chilli with Thyme Crème Fraîche

with 2 Comments
Bean Chili with Thyme Crème Fraîche

This is a Dish that is good anytime of the Year. In the Winter it’s Warming, and Comforting, in the Summer it’s Energising and Uplifting. It’s also completely Versatile. Feel free to adapt and use what you have lying around in the back of your Cupboards. It freezes well, and tastes even better the next Day, so make a big Batch and Enjoy. This Recipe serves 8.


100 g dried Haricot Beans (or 200 g ready cooked Beans)

100 g dried Black Beans (or 200 g ready cooked Beans)

200 g Green Lentils

200 g Shredded Soy, (Soja Schnetzel)

Sunflower Oil

120 g Red Onion, finely chopped

4 Garlic Cloves, finely chopped

20 g Ginger, finely chopped

1 Red Chili, finely chopped, with or without the Seeds

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

3 tbsp Olive Oil

1 tbsp Tomato Puree

200 ml Red Wine

1,2 kg Tin Tomatoes / Passata

1 tsp Sweet Smoked Paprika

1 tsp Hot Smoked Paprika

1/2 tsp Sugar

1 tsp Salt

1 tbsp Cocoa Powder

2 tbsp Olive Oil

Juice 1 Lime


1. If you are using dried Beans, soak them separately in Water overnight. The following Day, cover the Beans with cold Water, adding a few Cloves and Bay Leaves to the Water of the Black Beans, and a few dried Herbs (Oregano, Thyme) to the Water of the White Beans. Bring to the Boil and cook until they are soft. Do not add Salt to the Water as the Beans will take even longer to cook. When the Beans are ready, drain and rinse well with cold Water. Put to one side.

2. Following the Instructions on the Packet, prepare the shredded Soy (Soja Schnetzel). I use a Vegetable Stock with 1 tbsp Soy Sauce, 1 tsp Paprika, 1/2 tsp Salt, and 1 tsp each of dried Thyme and Rosemary.

3. Wash the Green Lentils and cover them with plenty of cold Water. Add a Bay Leaf and a good pinch of Cumin Seeds and bring the Water to the Boil. As soon as the Lentils are cooked, drain and rinse with Cold Water.

4. Once the Soy has absorbed all the Stock, take a large frying Pan and heat it until its very hot. Add a little Sunflower Oil and then add the Soy so the base is covered but the Pan is not over full (you may need to do this in batches depending on how big your frying Pan is). On a high heat fry the Soy until it has a lovely roasted brown colour. Taste and Season if necessary. Remove the Soy from the pan and put to one side.

5. Heat a frying Pan and add the Cumin Seeds. Roast until they are fragrant. Be careful that they do not burn. Once roasted grind to a fine Powder.

6. Take a large Saucepan, on a medium heat and add the Olive Oil. Add the red Onion and fry gently until slightly caramelised. Add the Garlic and Ginger and fry for a further minute. Add the Tomato Puree and fry until the colour has darkened and oil is released. Pour in the Red Wine, and allow to reduce down until all the fluid has evaporated. Add in the Tin Tomatoes, the ground Cumin, both smoked Paprikas, 1/2 tsp Sugar and Salt. Bring to the Boil and allow the Tomatoes to reduce down.

7. Once the Sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes later, add in the Beans, Lentils and Soy. Bring to a simmer again. Add in the Cocoa Powder, taste, and season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Finally add in the Olive Oil and Lime Juice, mix, and serve with Thyme Crème Fraîche.

Thyme Crème Fraîche


200 g Crème Fraîche

7 Stalks Thyme

Salt and freshly Ground Black Pepper


1. Remove the Thyme Leaves and finely chop. Add the Crème Fraîche to a bowl, season really well with Salt and Pepper and add the Thyme. Mix well.

2 Responses

  1. Sheila
    | Reply

    I made this for family visiting, it was great make ahead dish so I didn’t spend all my time in the kitchen. I swapped the soy with a small aubergine diced which worked well, also had some left over which froze well for a quick mid week supper.

    • Hannah
      | Reply

      Great idea to swap the soy for aubergine! And, yes, it’s a perfect dish to cook in advance. It actually tastes better after a day or two.

Leave a Reply