5cupscooked or three 15- to 16-ounce cansdrained and rinsed black beans
28-ouncecan diced tomatoestry fire-roasted
1or 2 small fresh hot chilesseeded and minced, or one 8-ounce can chopped mild green chilies
2teaspoonsgood-quality chili powderor more, to taste
2teaspoonsground cuminor more, to taste
¼cupminced fresh cilantroor 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 ½ to ¾-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 ½ 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.
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