Chili is really satisfying on those cold evenings and this recipe packs a slightly different nutritional punch than your typical chili. It also has a distinctly different flavor profile with the combination of sweet yams, black beans, and smokey chipotle.
I like to make this chili during cold and flu season because it somehow feels comforting this time of the year and because of the nutrients it provides. The spice in it can also help clear your sinuses if you happen to have a cold.
The yams help provide a good helping of vitamins A and C as well as potassium, plus garlic and onion are always good to eat this time of year to help keep your immune system strong. The black beans provide a good source of protein, folate and iron; and the combination of the black beans and yams makes this recipe high in fiber.
This vegetarian chili is eye-catching with the deep, rich burgundy color of the base blended with the orange of the yams and the dark, purple color of the black beans. It is surprisingly easy to make and it tastes just as good the next day left over. It does have a bit of a spicy kick, but you can try some of the suggested adjustments listed below for a milder version of this recipe.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 cup onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 small to medium sweet potatoes (or yams), peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (reduce salt to 1/4 teaspoon if using vegetable broth)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 2 cups water or vegetable broth
- 2 15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 15 ounce can fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
Heat oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute for a couple of minutes. Add yam and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to soften.
Add chili powder, cumin, chipotle, salt and pepper. Mix well and cook for about 30 seconds stirring frequently.
Add water, bring the chili to a simmer and cook until the sweet potato just starts to get tender, about 8 minutes or so.
Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice. Stir well and simmer for about 10-12 more minutes to let the flavors combine and to cook the yams to desired tenderness.
If you like a spicy chili add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne, or add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle powder.
If you prefer a mild chili, but you like the smokey flavor chipotles provide substitute smoked paprika for the chipotle powder.
If you don’t like the spice or the smokey flavor simply omit the chipotle powder.