Black Bean Vegetable Chili

Black Bean 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 jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh marjoram, or 1 teaspoon dried
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
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 grated Cheddar cheese, optional

Pick over the black beans, then soak them in 8 cups of water for 6 to 8 hours. Drain, and cook in 8 cups of water until tender, about 1 hour. Drain, reserving all the cooking liquid.

In a large skillet, sauté the onion in the oil until soft. Add the garlic, carrots, and celery; sauté 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and jalapeño peppers; sauté 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Combine the sautéed vegetables and cooked beans in a large pot. Add the herbs, spices, salt, lemon juice, and chocolate. Pour in about 1-1/2 cups of the reserved cooking liquid, or as needed, to keep the chili loose. Simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

As the chili simmers, place the pumpkin seeds in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Dry-toast them, stirring and tossing until the seeds glisten and begin to brown. Sprinkle with a few drops of soy sauce, and allow them to cool.

Serve in bowls with the pumpkin seeds sprinkled on top. Add sour cream and/or grated cheese, if desired.

Serves 8-10.


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