I made this recipe last week when we were stuck at home with a cold. I wasn’t feeling super well, so I just looked into the pantry instead of heading out to the store. At first I thought I could make a simple chili. Then I saw the can of sauerkraut. Sauerkraut. A staple in many German households you might think. But around me people never got very creative with sauerkraut. It is often served with sausage or meat and potatoes. And that’s it. Super boring and not worth veganising.
I think this is unfair because there’s so much you can actually do with sauerkraut. I have made sauerkraut bread before and a very delicious sauerkraut casserole. I’ve seen sauerkraut fritters online and even a sauerkraut guglhupf. It’s also a very popular ingredient in goulash. So I thought, why not add sauerkraut to a chili? I was a bit sceptical at first and thought the sauerkraut would indeed make my chili stew “sour”, especially since I also added a can of tomatoes. But this wasn’t the case. This stew is very mild and the taste is quite well-balanced. I added mild paprika powder because spicy foods are a bit off-limits since we have a child who doesn’t tolerate heat very well. But this would be great with a generous dash of hot sauce! Speaking of children: F. refused to eat this until I blended everything and served her this “tomato and bean soup”. Then she went for two bowls.
Bean and Sauerkraut Stew (serves 4-6)
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium-sized red bell peppers, diced
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 cloves garlic, minced
200 g sauerkraut, drained and finely chopped
1 can (400g or 14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (400g or 14 oz) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cans (800g or 28 oz) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
720 ml (3 cups) vegetable broth or water
2 teaspoons paprika powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon agave nectar
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oil in a large pot. Add onion, pepper, and rosemary. Fry for 5-6 minutes. Add garlic, fry for one more minute then add remaining ingredients except for agave syrup. Cook covered over medium heat for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered for another 10 minutes to thicken the stew a bit. Stir in agave nectar, season with salt and pepper and serve.