Black Bean Chili with Mushrooms

Think cardamom seems out of place in a pot of chili? Think again. This amazing vegetarian chili gains meatiness from sliced cremini mushrooms and a delightful bouquet from an entirely unexpected slurry of chili spices. Our version is ramped up with a bit more spice -- and makes great use of our quick roasted tomatillo sauce. One of our absolute winter favorites.

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Black Bean Chili with Mushrooms
inspired by EW's Slow-Cooker Black Bean Mushroom Chili
CAUTION: We like our chili spicy, so be sure to cut back on the chili powder (or use a mild variety) if you'd like a final product with less kick. Try to avoid eliminating the chipotle pepper, however, as it adds a seriously pleasant hint of smokiness (and less heat than you'd expect, especially when cooked in a crockpot).

Also note:  You'll need a 6 quart crock-pot/slow-cooker (or larger) for this recipe.

3 cups dried black beans

3 T olive oil
1/4 cup whole brown (or black) mustard seeds
2 tablespoons hot chili powder (adjust to taste)
2 tsp whole cumin seeds
1/2 tsp freshly ground green cardamom

3 onions, diced
5 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
2 cups quick roasted tomatillo sauce or salsa verde
2 chipotle peppers, minced, with 1 T adobo sauce
6 cups mushroom or vegetable broth (I like better than bouillon here, or a combination of mushroom and vegetable broth)
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste

sour cream
pickled jalapeno peppers

Soak black beans for at least 8 hours or overnight.

Place olive oil, along with the mustard seeds, chili powder, cumin and cardamom in a large, heavy skillet. Place over high heat and stir until the spices sizzle, about 30 seconds. Add onions to the spice mixture and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onions begin to grow transluscent. Add mushrooms and saute until they begin to lose their liquid, about 10 minutes more. Clear a space in the bottom of the pan, and add the tomato paste, stirring briefly just to sear it and deepen the flavor. Stir in tomatillo sauce and chipotle peppers with adobo and mix until all is combined. This can be done the night before.

Drain the black beans and discard their soaking liquid. Place them in a 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the vegetable mixture and mushroom or vegetable broth. Turn heat to high, cover, and bring mixture to a simmer(this generally takes an hour or so, depending). Turn the heat down to low, and continue to cook for 8-10 hours, or until the beans are tender.

Serve garnished with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, pickled jalapenos, and/or a generous squeeze of lime.


amandalouden said...

this is so good. I made this recipe today with lentils and potatoes. yum.

Anonymous said...

The ingredient list calls for 6cups of vegetable or mushroom broth, but there are no directions for when/where to use it in this recipe. I stirred it into the crock pot with the other ingredients but only used 4 cups because the crock pot was FULL! Hope this works. Pls update recipe.

Lo said...

Thanks for pointing out the error in the recipe! It's now corrected. We use a 6 quart crock-pot for this recipe, since it does make quite a bit of soup!

Lili said...

One of the best soup ive ever tasted!but i want it more spicy...thanks!

Anonymous said...

Made this earlier in the week... just a few suggestions to anyone looking to make this. I would add 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt to the pot with the ingredients, because consensus was the final product was almost bland. This was even though we did make it SUPER spicy (used VERY hot tomatillo salsa and added some cayenne pepper in addition to the spice mix). Once we added the salt and brown sugar to the cooker and gave it a good stir all the flavors came out. Fantastic. And GREAT the next day. Going to become a staple.

Lo said...

Love those suggestions! Glad you liked the soup.

Anonymous said...

Came back (4 years later) just for this recipe! its just that good!

Amanda Louden

Lo said...

Amanda! So good to see you.
And yes -- this is still one of our very favorite recipes. Gotta make it again soon :)