I saw this recipe in the Seattle Times and tried it out this week. I loved that it involved mushrooms and sweet potatoes! I've been eating it all week - it's hearty, but still healthy. I used canned beans, but it would probably be even better by starting with dried beans.
1/2 pound dried black beans, rinsed and soaked 4-6 hours or overnight
3 cloves garlic, smashed
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, minced
2 red bell peppers, cut into medium dice
1 pound mixed chopped mushrooms (oyster, crimini, portobello)
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1 can (28-ounce) whole tomatoes, chopped, with half of the can's liquid
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice
Cooked black beans (from above)
1 can (14.5-ounce) pinto beans
2 cups of vegetable broth, if using canned black beans instead of dried black beans
Sour cream, for garnish
Shredded cheddar cheese, for garnish
1. For the beans: Pour the beans plus their soaking liquid into a stockpot, and add additional water to cover by 1-2 inches. Add the smashed garlic and bay leaves, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the beans have softened but aren't fully cooked through (they'll continue to cook in the chili). Remove the garlic and bay leaves and discard.
2. For the chili: Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for about 5 minutes, until onions have softened slightly. Add jalapeno and red peppers, and continue to cook for another 3-5 minutes.
3. Add mushrooms, and sauté until mushrooms have softened and released some of their juices, another 5 minutes.
4. Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, salt and black pepper, and stir until the seasonings are incorporated into the mixture. Add the tomatoes and liquid, sweet potatoes and cooked black beans plus 3 cups of bean-cooking liquid (add vegetable broth or water if you don't have enough). Stir well to combine and simmer over medium-low heat for about 1-1 ½ hours, until sweet potatoes have softened but still retain their shape, liquid has thickened, and beans are fully cooked through. If you are using canned black beans, cooking time will be a bit shorter.
5. Add pinto beans plus their liquid in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
6. Serve with chopped green onions, sour cream, and shredded cheese, for garnish.
Notes: If you want to use canned black beans instead of dried black beans for this recipe, that's fine, and it will cut down significantly on the cooking time. Use about three 14.5-ounce cans, saving one can's worth of the bean liquid, and draining and rinsing the other two. When you add the beans and bean liquid, also add about 2 cups of vegetable broth.