I am so proud of this recipe. It has depth. It has heat. It has smokiness. It’s (accidentally) vegan. But it’s definitely the best chili I’ve ever made.
I am sharing it with my coworkers today at the Soup Club at work. Hope they like it too! 🙂
It’s really fun to create your own soup/chili/stew recipes because unlike other types of food, there’s never a point where it’s going to be totally done, and unable to be changed. Cookies will be totally done in ten minutes. Bread dough can’t be changed once it goes in the oven. Soup, however, you can toy with. You can gradually add the flavors you want and fill in the gaps for what is missing. And that is what I did here.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 cups of coffee
- 2 cans of stewed tomatoes
- 2 cans of black beans
- 2 diced yellow or white onions
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3-5 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 2-4 Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (I used canned, and give them a fine dice)
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1 heaping tablespoon excellent quality cocoa (I used Penzey’s Dutch process)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
I know it sounds crazy, but that cocoa is the best part of this chili. It smells incredible and adds a great depth to the flavor of this chili. It takes a lot of skill to cook vegetarian food consistently that has great depth. I certainly can’t do it all the time. This time, though, I’m really proud of it. I did set out to make it vegetarian, and I think that adding meat would actually take away from the smokiness. I guess on that note, if I did have to add some meat I’d add bacon. Maybe some of the black-pepper crusted stuff. Anywho, it turned out to also be vegan.
Start by dicing your onions and adding them to a stock pot or large Dutch oven with the olive oil. Cook for about five minutes, until they begin to soften.
Add to the mix the two cans of stewed tomatoes (with the water), 1 cup of the coffee, the garlic, the chili powder and cumin. Bring to a simmer and cover, keeping the simmering going for about 30 minutes.
Next, add the rinsed black beans, another cup of coffee, cocoa, cinnamon and Chipotle peppers in adobo. Taste, and salt and pepper to your liking. Simmer for another 30 minutes.
This level will be a decent amount of spiciness but not too crazy. If you really don’t like spicy things, skip the chipotle chiles.
Serve with sour cream green onions and cheese.