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Cafe Brenda Black Bean Vegetable Chili recipe

Even though this recipe contains a laundrylist of ingredients, none of them are particularly difficultto find. If you’ve been searching for a good, hearty vegetarianstyle chili look no further — this is it.

Recipe: Cafe Brenda BlackBean Vegetable Chili

2 1/2 cups dried black beans
1 large onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, diced
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 to 3 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon fresh marjoram, minced or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon crushed coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
Soy sauce
Sour cream, optional
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, optional

  • Pick over the black beans, then soak themin 8 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours. Drain them and cook in 8cups of water until tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving allthe cooking liquid.
  • In a large skillet, saut the onionin the oil until soft. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery; saut3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeno peppers; saut3 to 5 minutes longer.
  • Combine the saut ed vegetablesand cooked beans in a large pot. Add the herbs, spices, salt,lemon juice and chocolate. Pour in about 1 1/2 cups of the reservedcooking liquid or as needed to keep the chili loose. Simmer 30minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • As the chili simmers, place the pumpkinseeds in a saut pan over medium-high heat. Dry-toastthem, stirring and tossing until the seeds glisten and beginto brown. Sprinkle a few drops of soy sauce on them and allowthem to cool.
  • Serve in bowls with the pumpkin seedssprinkled on top. Add sour cream and/or grated cheese, if desired.

    Serves 6.

    Source: Adapted from Chili Nation by Janeand Michael Stern (Broadway Books, 1999).

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