Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Olive Oil
1 med Onion, diced
1 med Red (or yellow or orange) Pepper, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Salt and ground Pepper to taste (salt well because the potatoes will need the help)
1 T Ancho Chile Powder
2 t Chipotle  Chile Powder
1 1/2 t Oregano, crumbled if dried (or 1 T fresh, minced)
2 t ground Cumin
1 t ground Coriander
1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and diced about 1/2-inch cubes
1 large can Plum Tomatoes with juice (or diced tomatoes… whatever you’ve got!)
1 small can Diced Green Chiles (they’re mild)
Water
1 large can Black Beans, drained and rinsed 
about 5 Dashes Liquid Smoke
Frozen Corn (I like Trader Joe’s Grilled Corn niblets), a few handfuls

*Note: adjust seasonings to your tastes.  You may need more  – these amounts are strictly a starting point as all onions, peppers and sweet potatoes will be different sizes and who the heck needs the hassle of measuring  them? 

Heat large skillet over med-high heat then add olive oil.  When hot, add onion and pepper.  Saute for several minutes or until just starting to brown and get tender.  Add garlic and cook another minute.  Stir in dried spices (I mix them all in a bowl and have them ready to dump in so the first one  you add doesn’t burn by the time you add the last.) and cook for about a minute.  Heating the dried spices in oil helps release and intensify their flavors. 

Stir in the sweet potato, tomatoes (break ’em up if whole) and juice, green chiles, and about 1/2 a can of water.  You may need more water depending on how much sweet potato you have and how soupy you like your final dish.  Simmer gently for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are nearly tender.  Stir in black beans, liquid smoke and frozen corn and continue to simmer until thick, hot and the potatoes have cooked through.  Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve as is or on top of a starch with garnishes (cilantro, sour cream, cheese, avocado, hot sauce) or separate into smaller containers and freeze for future use.

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