Peter Reinhart’s Black Bean Chili (Serves 8)
- 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, diced
- 2 cups diced mild or hot chili peppers, such as jalapeño, Anaheim, Fresno, or green or yellow or red bell peppers
- 8 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 8 cups cooked black beans (about 5 small cans, or you can cook them from scratch)
- 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with juice
- 1 packet of onion soup mix (the “secret” ingredient)
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground black pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt, or to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons soy sauce (to taste)
- Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat for about a minute, or until they start to crackle and pop. Remove the seeds from the pan and add the oil. Increase the heat to high and add the onions, peppers, and garlic and stir, cooking for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the onions begin to turn translucent. Stir in the toasted cumin seeds and remove from the heat.
- Combine the cooked black beans, onion/pepper mixture, and the can of crushed tomatoes, in a soup pot large enough to hold them, and and bring to a gentle boil over medium heat, stirring periodically. Add the black pepper, salt, and soy sauce, to taste. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for about an hour, or until the liquid is reduced and thickened and the consistency is between gravy and chowder.
- Serve in soup bowls or crocks with and or all of the following: chopped cilantro, diced sweet onions, yogurt or sour cream, shredded cheese, and salsa. (Note: as with most chilis, it always taste better the next day, after a night of cooling in the fridge, so make it ahead if possible).
Adapted from Sacramental Magic in a Small Town Cafe, by Peter Reinhart, Copyright 1994, (Addison-Wesley Publishing)
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