Thursday, November 17, 2011

Black Bean Chipotle Chili

A recent chili "cook-off" got me thinking about posting a chili recipe. I made some changes to one at Fatfree Vegan Kitchen. It has a rich, deep, dark color that looks and tastes wonderful. To make prep quick, use canned versions of the tomatoes, tomato sauce and beans.

This large recipe makes almost 4 quarts. Great for freezing ahead. As is, this recipe is mild enough while still giving a spicy heat. Instead of chili powder to give this soup its classic flavor, it relies on the real deal, a smoky chipotle pepper. If you want to cook in even more spicy heat, add another chipotle pepper to the recipe and enjoy.

Black Bean Chipotle Chili 

1 dried chipotle pepper, soaked with 3/4 cup water, pureed in blender
2 Tablespoons grapeseed oil/coconut oil
2 medium onions, chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 yellow (or red or orange) bell pepper, chopped
2 cups diced tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes with chiles
2 cups tomato sauce
6 cups cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh or frozen corn
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons oregano
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons paprika (or smoked paprika)
4 teaspoons carob powder, mixed with 1/2 cup hot water
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1/4 cup raisins, soaked & pureed with 1 cup water
1/2 c. cornmeal, mixed with 1/4 cup water (optional thickener)

During the making of this chili, I was using my blender for a bit of the prep. You'll notice that the dried chipotle pepper and the raisins will need pureed (separately). Keep your blender (or personal blender handy for these two steps. A bowl and whisk will be helpful for the carob powder and optional cornmeal (also mixed separately). Because of these steps, I added water during cooking time (rinsing the blender and other containers, etc), so there is an option to add in a little cornmeal toward the end if you so desire. If you like a little more liquid in your chili, feel free to leave the cornmeal out.

Remove the stem (if still attached) from the dried pepper before soaking and proceed to soak and prep the pepper as stated, then set aside. Prepare the raisins as well at this time.

In a large pot, saute the onion in oil. When softened, add the garlic and bell pepper, then cook a few more minutes. Add the chili pepper puree, tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, corn, and spices (except the carob, salt and raisins). Bring to a simmer.

In a small bowl, prepare the carob powder. Add it to the chili. Taste for seasonings and add salt to taste. Add raisin puree. You may add the optional cornmeal at this time, stirring the soup as you add it.  Cook for another 30 minutes or more at a low simmer, stirring occasionally.

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