Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili {Best Ever}

Every year I inevitably have a post about being up to my eyeballs in snot (YOU’RE WELCOME AND SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR APPETITE, FOOD BLOG READERS). I am just textbook bad at handling being sick. Ben has had this cold all week and while I have taken the liberty of ordering Thai food and popping ibuprofen in his mouth like candy, I have also been avoiding any physical contact with his plagued, sorry ass (sorry, Ben).

AND SO, the universe is taking a dump on me for having no empathy and making me sick too. Maybe it was the fact that I went into work Monday and Tuesday despite the 10 feet of snow and minus 100 temps in Boston. I am just a good employee, what can I say? In any case, I am filling my bedroom with crumpled tissues so that one day I can make a mattress out of them and Ben won’t have to sleep next to me anymore. Until my mattress is complete, I will be running back and forth from the kitchen making a pot of this stuff, because it is the most warming and sensationally tasty chili I have ever made. Seriously, it will cure what ails you (especially if what ails you is a rumbling hungry stomach, the common cold, or Ebola).

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Sweet Potato Black Bean Chili

Based loosely off of Cook’s Illustrated

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained with juice reserved
  • 4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (roughly 1 lb)
  • 3 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely minced mushrooms
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 6 cups water
  • 3 Tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon cumin
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1-2 limes (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 300*. Place jalapeño on a baking sheet and roast 8-9 minutes, or until wilted and fragrant. Remove and set aside.

2. Place walnuts in a food processor and process until finely ground, then set aside in a bowl. Combine the drained tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, garlic,  and roasted jalapeño. Process until you have a loose salsa-like mixture, then set aside.

3. In a large pot, heat vegetable oil, then add the chopped onions and mushrooms. Sauté 9-10 minutes until the onions brown, then add oregano and cumin. Cook another 1-2 minutes until fragrant, then add the tomato mixture and the processed walnuts. Add 8 cups water and the reserved tomato juice, plus the chopped sweet potato. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Add the black beans, thens et to simmer for 1 hour, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. Remove from heat and let stand, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime juice.

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