1largesweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2teaspoonsfine sea salt, plus more to taste
3(15 oz) cansbeans(kidney, black beans, or pinto beans)
1(28 oz) candiced tomatoes, with juices (fire-roasted is preferred)
1/4cupfresh cilantro, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, and add in the onion, celery, and bell pepper. Stir until softened, about 5 minutes.
Add in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and smoked paprika, and stir for 1 more minute, or just until fragrant.
Add the sweet potato to the pot, along with 2 teaspoons of salt, the drained & rinsed beans (I use 2 cans black beans + 1 can kidney beans), the diced tomatoes with juices, the bay leaf, and 1 cup of water. Stir well, then raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil.
When the liquid is boiling, lower the heat and cover the pot. Let the chili cook until the sweet potatoes are fork tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the lid and let the chili continue to cook uncovered for 10 more minutes, or until the chili is as thick as you'd like it to be. Stir often, and mash some of the beans and sweet potato with the back of the spatula as you go, to help thicken the texture.
When the chili is done cooking, remove the whole bay leaf, then add more salt to taste. I start with a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, and usually add an additional 1 full teaspoon by the end. (So, 1 tablespoon of salt in total.) If your chili tastes bland, make sure you aren't under-salting it! Stir in the fresh cilantro, and add any other additions that you like such as a squeeze of fresh lime juice, or a touch of maple syrup if you need to balance out the acidity.
Serve warm with your favorite toppings, like sliced avocado, sour cream, or cheddar cheese. Leftover chili can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 3 months.
Nutrition information is for 1 of 6 servings, without additional toppings. This information is automatically calculated and is just an estimate, not a guarantee.See the full post for extra tips & substitution ideas.