So last Saturday we made a vegetarian chilli for 230 guests (which incidentally is also a gluten free and vegan delight)! What more perfect and warming dish could you offer 230 runners on a rainy cold day at the finishing line.
We turned up in the morning ready for the work and were greeted by box upon box of fresh vegetables waiting to be cleaned, peeled and cut...hooray!!
Though I have to say once they were all prepped it was beautiful seeing all the colours of the freshly cut vegetables - due to the amount of onions we cut the sight was made even more spectacular seeing it all through misty, tearful and sore eyes - we need some of those onion googles!
We used carrots, red and green peppers, celery, onions as our vegetables but you could add your own choice, next time I will try mushrooms and maybe butternut squash! Our whole kitchen seemed to be covered in bowls of vegetables to ensure accurate measurements!
Counting out the teaspoons of chilli cumin, paprika and oregano was a fun job and demanded absolute silence from everyone in the kitchen (which was a mission - especially for Mum!) But it was so worth it when all the garlic was peeled, chopped and added...a sense of accomplishment came over us!
As the spices infused and the vegetables were cooking and starting to soften down (esp the celery - my favourite!) we suddenly got this fantastic smell wafting through the kitchen and everything again seemed to come together, until we had to count out the chickpeas, kidney beans, sweetcorn, cannellini beans, tomatoes and measure the stock.....Calculators, multiple bits of paper - many screwed up, pencils, puzzled faces, sighs of exasperation and many 'no that's not right!' and were abundant until eventually the GERONIMO moment!
All measurements seemed to work and before we knew it we had pots and pots of beautifully tasting vegetarian chilli simmering on the stoves.
But we weren't finished there, a clever knack I learnt online from CookieandKate (no connection from me though I love the business name) was that blending a portion of the chilli, then adding it with the rest makes it look and taste like a chilli that has been cooking all morning long, but it only needs about 30 minutes of simmering.
With the final touches of chopped coriander and some very chuffed smiles from Charley and myself we served some very happy runners!