Spicy Creole Bean and Rice Chowder
- Yield 8 servings
This low-fat chowder becomes a hearty main dish when you add 1 pound diced, firm tofu the last 5 minutes of cooking. You may omit the red chili flakes for a milder version.
- 16 ounces dried kidney or pinto beans
- 24 cups water
- 1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes with their juices
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1/2 cup raw basmati or brown rice
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
- 8 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- Cover beans with 8 cups water and refrigerate overnight. The following day, drain the beans, rinse well and cover with about 8 more cups fresh water in a saucepan. Simmer 2 1/2 hours or until tender.
- Or, use the quick-soak method: Cover the beans with 8 cups water in a saucepan, bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat and allow to soak at room temperature for about 3 hours, rinse and drain. Cover with about 8 more cups fresh water and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until tender.
- With either method, drain cooked beans and place in a large nonreactive saucepan. Cover with 8 cups water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add canned tomatoes and their juices.
- Simmer 2 hours and then add all remaining ingredients except scallions, salt and vinegar. Simmer an additional 30 minutes or until rice and beans are tender. Add additional water, if necessary, to thin to desired consistency. Add the scallions, salt and vinegar.