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Black Bean Chili with Squash & Chipotle Recipe

Source; Ascent Magazine

black bean chili with squash & chipotle
serves 6–8
Chipotle peppers are really just smoked jalapeños, and add a lovely, sultry heat to this sweet and spicy chili. For extra flavour, instead of using pre-ground spices, toast whole cumin and coriander seeds in a dry pan, then grind them in a coffee grinder. 
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight, drained & rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 strip kombu (optional)
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 large onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 Tbsp ginger, grated or finely minced
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
11/2 tsp sea salt
1–2 tsp minced chipotle pepper (in adobe, or dried & reconstituted)
2 cups diced squash
4 cups tomatoes (fresh or canned), diced
2 cups water, or reserved bean broth, as needed
optional vegetables: 1 diced red pepper, 1 cup diced zucchini, 1 cup corn kernels
1/2 cup fresh cilantro and/or parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp lime juice or apple cider vinegar
freshly ground black pepper to taste
  1. Place the soaked and rinsed black beans in a medium pot with 4 cups of water, the bay leaf and strip of kombu. Bring to a boil and cook vigorously for 5–10 minutes, skimming any foam that develops. Reduce the heat to an audible simmer and cook until the beans are tender (approximately 1 hour). Drain the beans and reserve their broth for the chili if desired. 
  2. While the beans are cooking, wash and chop the vegetables.
  3. Heat the oil in a medium pot, over medium heat. Cook the onions until they soften and emit a sweet aroma (about 7 minutes). Add the carrot and celery, and cook another 3–5 minutes, until the celery and onion are becoming translucent. 
  4. Add the ginger and garlic, and cook another 2 minutes. Add the spices, dried herbs and salt, and stir constantly to toast the spices for another 1–2 minutes. Add the chipotle pepper, squash, tomatoes and cooked black beans. Add the water or reserved bean broth as needed to cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer, and let your chili pot bubble for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. If desired, once the chili is cooked, you can thicken it by removing 2 cups to a blender. Purée and return this mixture to the pot. Add the optional vegetables, if desired, and cook until just softened. Add the remaining ingredients. Taste, noting the balance of hot, acid, sweet and salty notes and adjust to your liking.
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