Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili with Kale

As I was out gardening in the green house and hoop house this weekend and dreamed of all the produce we would have this spring and summer, I remembered that I still had some really nice (and huge) sweet potatoes sitting in a bucket in the corner of the kitchen.

You know that that means?

More Sweet Potato-Palooza!

Obviously, these store great.

I was also prompted to revisit the palooza because there was a great sounding Pinto Bean Sweet Potato Chili printed in last Sunday’s paper.   The original recipe was attributed to Epicurious.  (It was actually featured in Bon Appétit in June 1995.)

Here is my rendition because I am also back to the 2012 Clean Out.   I was sure that I saw a partial box of dried pinto beans in that pantry just last week.  I searched to no avail but I did find a full box of dried black beans.  They would have to do.  The other changes I made were using home canned tomatoes and some home-smoked chipotles (thanks to my sister—see we don’t fight all the time!)    I also didn’t have cilantro but I had a lot of fresh parsley.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili with Kale

1 c. dried black beans
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t. chili powder
1/2 t.  ground coriander
1 c.  stock (I used chicken broth.  The original recipe calls for veggie stock.)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled, and cut into 3/4″ cubes
1 pint home-canned tomatoes, chopped (or 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes)
1 dried chipotle
1 handful of dried kale (or stir in a cup or two of fresh as you desire)
3 T. chopped fresh parsley
zest of one orange
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse black beans and place in a large sauce pan with a tight fitting lid.   Add water so that three inches cover beans.  Bring to a boil, cover with lid, and turn off heat.   Let set for 90 minutes.

After 90 minutes, drain and rinse.  (Discard soaking water.)    Add back to pan and add three cups of new water.   Bring to boil, cover, and reduce to simmer.   Simmer for another 90 minutes.

While beans are cooking, heat olive oil in a heavy saucepan.   Add onions and garlic.  Saute until onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes.    Add chili powder and cumin and stir 1 minute.

Onions and garlic with spices.

Add broth and potato.   Cover pan and reduce heat to medium.   Simmer until potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.

Sweet potatoes added.

Add tomatoes with juices (I threw my tomatoes in the blender and then dumped it all in), chipotle, and beans.

Finally, I’m putting my can-goods to good use!

Simmer uncovered until chili thickens and potato is very tender, about 10 more minutes.

Mix in kale, parsley, and orange zest.   Season with salt and pepper.

Because of all the “Super Foods” in this chili,  I decided to up the ante a bit and throw in some of the dried kale that mom brought us in November.

Dried kale.

I thought that it would go great with the subtle orange flavor.

Of course, the sweet potatoes are high in fiber, Beta carotene, and antioxidants.    Black beans are a great source of cholesterol lowering fiber and their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal.   And kale is filled  with micro-nutrients, including vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and chlorophyll.

Oops!   I almost forgot about the tomatoes.  Tomatoes contain lycopene, the antioxidant phytochemical that also helps prevent heart disease and they are a good source of vitamins A, C, and E.

Maybe I should rename this “Super Food” chili.

Very healthy dinner!

Note:   The orange zest in this soup is genius—such a subtle hint!!!!   If I make this again, I may add sweet potato puree for a thicker soup.

I have enjoyed this soup for two lunches as well.   This recipe is a keeper!

Happy March 1st!   Please check out this funky clothing company, Happy First.   They have a great story, great message and great items!



15 comments to Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili with Kale

  • Liz

    Like my lentil soup, this is one dish I would adore, but the rest of the family wouldn’t touch. I’m hoping some day the kids’ palates will mature…and they’ll be more willing to try new flavors! This looks wonderful!

  • This looks delicious. I don’t think I’ve ever seen dried kale before. If you hadn’t told us it was, I’d have said it was fresh. I love it’s addition to your chili.

  • I rarely get the opportunity to enjoy sweet potatoes, the hubs does not like them. However, I need to try to start making this type of stuff for a light lunch while he is not here. This does look like something I would enjoy-yum!

    • Eliot

      My hubs liked it but he didn’t eat one dinner and two lunches off of it. I am bringing him over (I think) to healthier meals and even vegetarian ones like this.

      This dried kale is good just to munch on. I asked mom how she dried it: “I just put it in a pan in the convection oven and dried it. It did not take very long.”

      It is that simple! 🙂

  • I cant wait to try this. Next week I am going to make it for the teachers at St Pius. Each week someone makes a soup for everyone. Do you have an approximation as to how much it makes?

    • Eliot

      The original recipe at Epicurious says it yields two servings but that can’t be right. I would estimate that this recipe makes four hearty servings. Hope the staff and teachers like it. Let me know.

      (Also, I don’t think I made this clear in the recipe, but I dumped the beans in without draining them after they cooked.)

      I will email you.

  • I just made a black bean soup (which I’m posting for my POTM next week), but it’s not chock full of super foods and home canned tomatoes. I’m curious about that dried kale, I’m going to have to look up on how to do that.

    • Eliot

      I made some kale chips last year that were really tasty, but mom’s doesn’t have anything on them. Pure kale all the way. And obviously, they store a long time just fine. She brought this to us at Thanksgiving. (Will check out your soup next week.)

  • I love it when super foods are super delicious! This soup sounds mega fabulous.

    • Eliot

      It is really intriguing everyone how healthy I am eat at work. (That is until yesterday when I went back to the cafeteria fare!) I really could tell a difference in how I felt all afternoon—pretty yuck!

  • Too good a recipe – I am dying for a sup,just a little taste 😉

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Giant Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed Peanut Butter M&M Cookie For One

  • Looks like a terrific chili. Just wanted to let you know that you won the giveaway for a copy of “Anna: Heart of a Peasant” by Carol Marie Davis, so shoot me an email with your shipping address when you get a chance. Congrats!

    • Eliot

      I just sent you an email. I have been trying to keep up with the reviews that you have had people post. I love the plot, story, and message! I am excited!

  • That looks absolutely brilliant! Love the use of all the superfoods and wish I had a stockpile of lovely large sweet potatoes.

  • […] *This recipe is modified from Debra at* […]