By Jen Inglis
I'm SO pleased that a sweet potato chilli was requested as the recipe share this week because it's such a fab thing to have at this time of year. It's delicious and filling and perfect if you're easing into a more plant-based diet as pretty much everyone is on board with a warming bowl of chilli!
I've adjusted my recipe to have the sweet potato as a separate side of spiced wedges. I love the crispy outer and silky-smooth insides, and the fragrance of lime combined with the caramelisation you get with roasting is completely worth the substitution, AND the wedges can then be dipped into the spicy, smoky, sweet savoury richness of your chilli.
I've kept the spice levels quite low and simple in this recipe but feel free to dial up the heat levels. This chilli is possibly even better after a day or 2 in the fridge and also really easy to make in larger quantities, so you can fill up your freezer to get you through February!
2 tbsp oil
2 large onions peeled and finely chopped
3 stems celery finely chopped
2 carrots peeled and finely chopped
1 (or more if you like spicy) fresh chilli of a heat you can handle finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 bay leaves
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 stick cinnamon
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp Marmite (love it or hate it marmite really brings some depth to this chilli as well as some lovely B12 for the vegans!)
2 red peppers chopped
1 tin chopped tomato
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup or 1 tsp sugar
2 tins of beans that you fancy black, kidney, cannellini or borlotti
250ml coffee (Steampunk of course!)
100g green/black lentils
600ml veg stock
½ lime for finishing
1 avocado (optional)
Sweet Potato wedges
2 large sweet potatoes
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 garlic clove crushed and very finely chopped
Zest of a lime plus tbsp juice
3 tbsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Big pan for chilli,
Small pan for lentils/rice
Coffee brewer of choice
Start the chilli: Fry the onions, celery, carrots and chilli until softened then add 1 tsp salt, the spices, garlic and red peppers. Fry till pepper begins to release juices then add tomatoes, marmite, syrup, vinegar and coffee. Allow to cook slowly over a low heat for an hour stirring occasionally.
For the wedges: Give your sweet potatoes a scrub then slice into chunky wedges. Mix them in a bowl along with the spices, garlic, oil, lime juice and zest and then roast in oven @ 180 degrees on a baking tray for 30 mins flipping halfway through.
Back to chilli: Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in a sieve till water runs clear through them then boil in the stock for 20 mins in a separate pan with a lid till soft. You can also use water for this but cooking the lentils in stock makes a huge difference to the flavour I promise. Drain any leftover stock adding a few spoonfuls to chilli then add lentils plus beans to the chilli pan and cook for a further 20 mins. Add salt and pepper to taste then add a lime juice and stir well just before serving.
Serve with rice and all those great chilli sides that you can use to take this up a level: diced avocado, chopped coriander, fresh chilli slices, lime wedges, warm tortillas, vegan mayo thinned with a little soya milk can be a sub for sour cream, corn chips, corn bread if you fancy baking, maybe a slaw? And, of course, your amazing spiced sweet potato wedges.
Looking for another warming winter recipe? Why not try our simple and delicious Minestrone.