Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
Serve my warm Corn Bread alongside for a perfect meal.
2 1/4 cups (15 oz) black beans
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 serrano or jalapeno peppers, seeded (if desired) minced
5 large cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon dry oregano
2 cans excellent quality crushed tomatoes, such as Muir Glen Tomatoes, (28 oz. each)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup coarsely grated Monterey Jack cheese
Pick over the beans and discard any damaged beans or stones. Rinse the beans. Place in a bowl with plenty of water to cover and soak for about 3 hours. Drain the beans and set aside.
In a large heavy saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and chili peppers and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and oregano and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add the beans, tomatoes and water to cover by 3 inches. Increase the heat to high, bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are very tender and begin to fall apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add water if the beans begin to dry out but are not yet cooked.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into individual bowls and serve garnished with cheese.