I need to sneak this recipe in before it gets too nice outside. Who wants chili in 70-degree weather? But I think we can expect a few more cold, rainy days in our future if I know Spring, and, when they come, keep this black bean and sweet potato chili in mind. Yes, it's vegetarian, but it's quick to make and boldly spiced as chili should be, making it very satisfying, especially when sprinkled with queso fresco or any other cheese you might have left over from the huevos rancheros. I'm always biased towards meat, so if I like a vegetarian recipe, that's a good sign!
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili
I cut back a little on the chipotle powder to keep things accessible for the kids. The flavors were still quite prominent. If you don't have chipotle powder, you can chop up one or two canned chipotles in adobo, or use a pinch of cayenne instead, or substitute some smoked paprika for a milder but smokier flavor.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground chipotle
2 1/2 cups water
2 15-oz. cans black beans, rinsed
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Queso fresco (optional)
Heat oil is a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sweet potato, and cook stirring often, until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, chipotle, and salt to taste, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add water, bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer, and cook until the sweet potato is tender, 10-12 minutes. Add beans, tomatoes, and lime juice. Return to a simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro and more salt if needed. Crumble queso fresco on top. Serve with cornbread or cheddar quesadillas.
Source: Adapted from Eating Well magazine.