Thursday, February 25, 2010

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

Here is a simple, but oh-so-satisfying vegetarian chili. It's great on a cold winter night, but equally good at a summertime barbecue.

I have included instructions for preparing the dry beans from scratch, but if you don't have time, go ahead and substitute three 15-ounce cans of black beans. The chili will still be fabulous!

Chipotle Black Bean Chili

3/4 Pound Dry Black Beans
1/2 Large Onion Cut in Half
1 Carrot, Quartered
1 Celery Stalk, Quartered
1 Bay Leaf
1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
6 Cups (approximately) Water

2 tsp Canola Oil
1 Large Onion, Diced
1 Bell Pepper, Diced - Any Color, I used red this time.
1 Cloves Garlic, Minced or Pressed
2 tsp Canned Chipotles in Adobo Sauce
1 tsp Ground Cumin
1 tsp Mexican Oregano
1 28 Ounce Can Diced Tomatoes, Plain or Fire-Roasted
1 Cup Veggie Broth

Optional Garnishes:

Fresh Chopped Cilantro
Sliced Green Onions
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream

Soak the beans overnight (or all day before cooking). Put the beans, onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf in a large pot. Cover with water by about 1 inch and add the pepper flakes. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until the beans are soft. Depending on the age of the beans, this can take anywhere from about 25 minutes to an hour. When the beans are done cooking, drain them, discard the veggies and set them aside.

Heat the oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and bell pepper and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chipotle, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring often, for about 2 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes with their juice, and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until the flavors have melded and the tomatoes cook down a little, at least 15 minutes, up to an hour, stirring often.

Garnish as desired and serve with skillet corn bread.

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