Welcome to November. You’re likely starting to feel the shift in the air as the temperature slowly begins to drop from here on. We’re still enjoying bits of sunshine on the Island, however, the weather has definitely taken a turn towards winter. The leaves have fallen and thus begins one final bout of yard chores: raking leaves and turning the garden beds once more before the frosts creep in. I hope you are enjoying the turn of the seasons wherever you are!
This weekend, Steve (my fiance) and I were keen to make something delicious that would last us a few days. There’s nothing better than coming home to a meal already prepped and ready to warm, especially on a cold, rainy Monday. The beautiful thing about chili (and most stews for that matter), is that it takes on a deeper flavour profile by the next day, so it’s akin to having the same meal twice, but slightly different, nay, better…
This time around, our chili included a newbie: a sweet potato. Having realized we were out of regular potato varieties, Steve ended up tossing it in, much to our delight. It was a nice touch of contrast to the heat of the chili spice and smokey cumin. I loved it so much I decided to steal my fiance’s recipe and blog all about it *wink*.
There are hundreds of chili recipes out there; one for any mood you’re in. And whenever we make chili at home, it always ends up different from the last. One constant remains though; it’s a wonderful cold weather meal. It also a great recipe to use up any left over vegetables or maybe even those home canned tomatoes from your summer hauls…we never really get around to canning tomatoes as they get eaten straight from the garden, still warm from the sun *sigh*; canned tomatoes from your local grocer will do just fine for this recipe, for obvious reasons!
You say you’re not a sweet potato fan? No problem! You can easily use whatever potato variety you have on hand. But I do urge you to give this a try, even if solely for novelties sake.
Let me show you how to make this favourite of ours…
AUTUMN SWEET POTATO CHILI
| serves 4 |
- 1/2 White Onion, diced
- 2 Cloves Garlic, finely diced
- 1/4 Cup Filtered Water
- 2 Medium Carrots, unpeeled and sliced
- 1/2 Sweet Potato, Peeled + Cubed
- 1-2 Celery Stalks, Diced
- 1 Yellow Pepper, Diced
- 4 Crimini Mushrooms, Sliced
- 1 Cup Cauliflower Florets
- 1 1/2 Cans (approx. 4 Cups) Organic Diced Tomatoes
- 3 TBSP Organic Tomato Paste
- 1 1/3 Cups filtered water
- 1 TBSP Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/4 – 1/2 tsp Chili Flakes
- 1- 398ml Can Kidney Beans (drained)
- 1-398ml Can Black Beans (drained)
- 1-398ml Can Pinto Beans (drained)
- Salt + Pepper to taste
For Serving (optional)
- Fresh Cilantro
- Diced Avocado
- Fresh Lime Juice
1. In a large sauce pot over medium heat, add the onion, garlic and filtered water. Cook, stirring occasionally until the water is evaporated and the onions have begun to soften (about 5 minutes). Add in the chopped carrot, sweet potato, diced celery, cauliflower, mushrooms and yellow pepper and continue to cook over medium heat until the vegetables become slightly tender, about 15 minutes.
2. Once the vegetables are slightly tender, add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, filtered water, chili powder, cumin and chili flakes; stir to incorporate. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the water has reduced and the sauce has thickened.
3. Add the canned beans [add as much or as little as you like; I prefer my chili to be thick and thus as add the full amount of beans noted above]; Stir to incorporate.
4. Using an immersion blender, blend a small portion of the chili (just a few quick pulses); this will help to thicken up the sauce and yield a more hearty feel to it. If you don’t have an immersion blender, take approx 2 cups of the chili and place it in a blender and blend until well incorporated; add it back to your chili pot and mix until incorporated. Season with salt + pepper to taste.
5. Serve immediately with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, diced avocado and chopped cilantro.
RECIPE NOTES | This recipe makes a fair amount of chili and should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days covered. You can also freeze it for up to a month. If you find the chili is too thick for your liking, simply add a small amount of water to the mixture (approx 1/2 Cup); you may need to adjust your seasonings thereafter. Again, feel free to exchange the sweet potato with Yukon Gold, red potato or russets, whatever you please. If you are gluten intolerant, be sure to use a brand of tomato paste that is certified gluten free.