Smoky Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

From Kathy Richardier, editor, City Palate

Adapted from Gena Hamshaw’s Food52 Vegan cookbook.

2016 Sep/Oct

We de-veganize it with shredded duck confit, but it’s totally full of flavour left vegan. I served this with the duck confit to friends who said it was the best chili they’d ever had.


  • 1 T. olive oil (I sometimes use chopped bacon when de-veganizing)
  • 2 c. chopped white or yellow onion
  • 4 c. diced sweet potatoes, in about 1/4 to 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, finely chopped
  • 1 T. good quality chili powder
  • 2 t. ground cumin
  • 1/2 t. smoked paprika
  • 1 can diced fire-roasted tomatoes (I use Scarpone’s)
  • 3-1/2 c. cooked black beans (I also add 1 can of corn)
  • 1-1/2 c. vegetable or chicken (if de-veganized)
  • broth plus more as needed
  • salt
  • 1 large Haas avocado, sliced, for garnish
  • 1/4 c. thinly sliced chives, for garnish
  • shredded duck confit, for de-veganizing garnish


Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender and translucent, about 8 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and garlic and sauté until the garlic is fragrant and the sweet potatoes are just becoming tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chipotle in adobo, chili powder, cumin, and paprika and cook, stirring constantly, until the spices are very fragrant. Stir in the tomatoes, beans and broth and bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are tender, 30 to 35 minutes, adding more broth as needed to achieve your desired consistency. Season with salt to taste. I leave the chili on the stove for many hours – like all afternoon – over very low heat to allow the flavours to become happily married. It works every time! Serve topped with the avocado and chives and/or shredded duck confit. Serves 6, or 4 with leftovers. (You’ll want leftovers, since chili gets better as it ages.)