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Posts Tagged ‘sweet potatoes’

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I am always searching for alternative chili recipes. I love the idea of a warming bowl of beans and spices, but truth be told, standard red chili is not my favorite thing to eat. I once blamed my dislike of chili on the chili powder, but I have come to realize that it is the combination of tomato paste and kidney bean that I do not love (and this coming from a lover of beans!).

When I stumbled upon a recipe for chili in Real Simple using sweet potatoes and no tomato paste, I knew I had to try it with a few adaptations of my own. And, boy, am I glad that I did! This chili will warm your chilled body and make your taste buds happy! The notes of cocoa and cinnamon combine so perfectly with the sweet potato, yet the sweetness does not overpower. Instead, the sweetness mellows out the intensity of heat from the fire roasted tomatoes. All the ingredients play on one another to make a perfectly harmonious dish that will greet you comfortably as you come home from work. It pairs nicely with a winter beer like Snow Day from Fat Tire Brewery.

Let me know how you like it, if you give it a try in your kitchen.

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Sweet Potato Chili

INGREDIENTS
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
kosher salt
1 14-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 15.5-ounce can black beans, rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces
1/2 cup. beef broth
sour cream, sliced scallions, sliced radishes, shredded sharp cheddar, and tortilla chips, for serving

DIRECTIONS
In a slow cooker, combine the onion, pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, cocoa, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the tomatoes (and their liquid), beans, sweet potato, beef broth, and 1 cup water.
Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes are tender and the chili has thickened, on low for 7 to 8 hours.
Serve the chili with the sour cream, scallions, radishes, cheese, and tortilla chips.

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So, this is a meal that beckons and then receives a much appreciated thank you from it’s eaters to the cook. My family of three gobbled this soup up and very happily ate it for lunch the next day! It’s a keeper…and I’ve been searching for soup go-tos for years!

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My only issue with this soup is the prep labor and time…I spent over 30 minutes peeling, chopping, and cutting before a single ingredient touched the heat. But, if you have the time, it’s SO worth it. I will be making it again (and again) this winter and am excited to see how different sausage flavors enhance the overall soup flavor.

Potato and Sausage Soup
Adapted from Bon Appetit, October 2007

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add 9 ounces of fully cooked sausage (I used a spicy Italian chicken sausage and loved how the bits of fennel seed fell out of the sausage enhancing the soup’s texture and flavor) and cook until brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer sausage to paper towels to drain. Add 2 diced medium onions and 2 cloves of minced garlic to the pot and cook until translucent, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add 2 medium potatoes, cut into skinny half moons, and 4 smallish sweet potatoes, cut into a large dice, and cook until beginning to soften, stirring often, about 12 minutes. Add 4 cups of chicken broth and 2 cups of vegetable broth and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until potatoes are soft, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes. Use your ladle to roughly mash some of the potatoes. Add browned sausage back to soup. Stir in 1 bag of 6-ounces of fresh spinach leaves and simmer just until wilted, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper. Divide among bowls and serve.

Tell me what you think…and, if you have soup recipes you want to share, please respond in the comments and let me know!

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