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Chili or stew? Who cares, when it's this good.

Again, I altered another recipe for the better. Instead of sticking to Post Punk Kitchen’s Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili (http://theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=209) I sauteed celery, garlic, a shallot (gives stronger flavor than an onion), peppers with cumin, chili powder, nutritional yeast, paprika, lemon juice, and weirdly a radish just because I had one. Then pulsed all these in my blender to use as a soup thickener, as well as half of the sweet potato (which I cooked using the microwave to save time). Then I just poured a cup or so of vegetable broth in a stock pot with a can of tomatoes with green chilis, threw in some Bay Leaves (remove when eating), and let the sweet potato cubes simmer. Then added the black beans and said pureed/pre-seasoned/cooked vegetables, and damn I had a winter chili stew-eque masterpiece. And it only took an hour to make, which isn’t too bad for a soup. And most of the time was pulling out vegetables and deciding which ones I wanted to pair together. Then the slow hand chopping and mincing, because I am determined to get perfect at chopping the “professional” way. If you like thicker soup, throw in some arrowroot or starch (I like thicker).

I also made some vegan cornbread to go with the soup, which is so intensely more satisfying than crackers when dipped (or my case, smothered in the soup). Though I used vanilla soymilk, and yes, I could test that hint of vanilla in my otherwise salty cornbread, I still didn’t mind it. But for anyone else, aim for plain soy or rice milk. Or regular milk, if you aren’t vegan. Oh–and never try to use flour in place of cornmeal.

Easy cornbread made for soup dipping (if eating for one or two, recipe should be halved):

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2 cups plain soy milk or milk of choice

2 tsp apple cider vinegar

<mix these first>

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2 cups cornmeal (I like medium grind)

1 cup all-purpose flour (or if you want be awesome, a gluten-free flour)

1/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

<mix all these dry ingredients>

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1/3 cup oil

<mix all ingredients, but do not over mix. Cornbread will not rise very much, so do not put in a pan that is too big. Bake in your greased pan at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.>

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And…To overwhelm you with choices:

After I made the stewy-soupy-chili, I noticed another similar recipe, but with an entirely different chemical-spice makeup than mine:

Mole Black Bean & Winter Squash Chili

3 dried pasilla chilis, de-stemmed

1 1/2 cups boiling water

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp cumin

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cloves

1 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)

2 tbsp almond butter

1 tbsp tahini

4 cups cooked blackbeans (or canned)

2 cups peeled and cubed winter squash (I used 1 regular-sized Delicata)

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 carrot chopped

2 tsp canola oil

1/3 cup tomato sauce

2 tbsp brewed coffee (optional)

1 cup water

^You’re smart enough to figure out how to combine all that stuff.^ So yeah. There’s a comparison with a little bit more of Mexican [chocolate] theme.

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