Quick Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
With the addition of sweet potatoes, this easy chili is filling and warming. Baking or microwaving the sweet potatoes ahead of time cuts down on both the preparation as well as the cooking time. Enjoy leftovers for a thermos lunch or subsequent dinners. Serve with stone-ground whole grain tortillas — they’re great for dipping into the chili, or even for grabbing some of it, soft taco style. Or, fresh corn bread is a wonderful companion as well. Serve with a simple salad or any of VegKitchen’s coleslaws and/or a side of sautéed greens or steamed broccoli. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook.
Serves: 6 or more
- 2 medium-large sweet potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium red or green bell pepper, diced
- 5 cups cooked or three 15- to 16-ounce cans (drained and rinsed) black beans
- 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (try fire-roasted)
- 1 or 2 small fresh hot chiles, seeded and minced,
or one 8-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
- 2 teaspoons good-quality chili powder, or more, to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin, or more, to taste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, or more, to taste, plus more for garnish
- Salt to taste
Bake or microwave the sweet potatoes until just firm. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into 1/2 to 3/4-inch dice. Set aside until needed. Or, you can scrub or peel them, dice, and steam in a small amount of water until just done.
Heat the oil in a large soup pot. Add the onion and sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
Add the remaining ingredients except the cilantro and salt. Add 1/2 cup water, bring to a slow boil, then lower the heat and cover. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
Add the sweet potato dice and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender and all the flavors are nicely melded.
Stir in the cilantro, then season gently with salt. If time allows, let stand off the heat for an hour or two, then heat through as needed. Top each serving with extra cilantro, if desired.