Lately I’ve been in a bit of a cooking slump. I can think of lots of things that I’d love to bake, but since I cannot live on cake, cookies, and cupcakes alone (don’t I wish!), I’ve been forced to try to fight through my lack of inspiration and cook anyway.
When I’m feeling uninspired, I tend towards pizzas, frittatas, and soups… They are all of my “blank canvas” foods that lend themselves well to whatever’s in the fridge. I’ve found myself making a lot of them lately… Especially soups. The cooler weather that we’ve been having just begs for soup, if you ask me.
This recipe was definitely one of those that was a result of what I had on hand insead of some great inspiration or craving for a flavor combo. I didn’t have a lot of time to make dinner and I wasn’t in the mood to cook. So I went through the pantry and fridge and pulled out what I had on hand. I started with 3 sweet potatoes that we had received from our CSA and added from there. I knew that black beans and sweet potatoes would go well together in a chili, so I just started adding some chili-like ingredients. I like my chili to be on the thick side, but I wasn’t in the mood to puree, so I threw in some tomato sauce and butternut squash to thicken the soup and provide some different layers of flavor. No sweat!
The funny thing about this chili is that, despite my lack fo inspiration, my husband really loved it. In fact, he raved about it and couldn’t wait to eat the leftovers. Granted, he doesn’t usually complain about anything that I make, but he was really excited about this dish. I guess it’s just proof that sometimes it’s good to push through your lack of inspirationa and just get in the kitchen and start cooking!
Sweet Potato Chili
(Makes about 6 servings)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 large sweet potatoes (about 6 cups), peeled and diced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 jalapeños, seeded and minced
- 2 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup butternut squash puree
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 – 14.5 ounce can of black beans, drained and rinsed
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large soup kettle or pot over medium-low heat. Add the sweet potatoes, onion, and jalapeños and give them a quick stir. Cover and let cook for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
Add the tomato sauce, butternut squash puree, and vegetable broth and stir to combine with the vegetables. Stir in the spices (chipotle powder, ground cumin, and smoked paprika) and bring the mixture to a simmer. Stir in the black beans and then season to taste with the salt and pepper. Serve immediately.