So I guess it’s officially autumn now, whatever definition you use. Gone are the long days where the sun stays up until 10pm. Gone are the hot days where we keep the back door wide open all day long so the dog can run in and out. Gone are the lazy afternoons spent sitting in a pub garden sipping cider.
Luckily, we have cosy evenings, cuddly jumpers and comforting dinners to look forward to instead, so it’s not all bad.
I thought I’d start the season with this sweet and spicy kidney bean and sweet potato chilli – because if a hot bowl of chilli doesn’t make you happy that the autumn has arrived, nothing will.
My little trick to inject even more flavour into this sweet potato chilli is to roast the pieces of sweet potato before adding them to the pot. Not only do they crisp up nicely, giving the chilli a more interesting texture (boiled sweet potato can sometimes be a bit… meh), they also get slightly charred on the edges, which are nice and sweet and tasty. Considering this sweet potato chilli only actually has four main ingredients (plus a few spices), it’s a good idea to try to get as much flavour into them as possible!
Serve your kidney bean and sweet potato chilli with whatever toppings you fancy. I’ve been on a bit of a vegan kick lately (I’ve not gone completely vegan, just trying to avoid always defaulting to cheese!), so I kept it simple with some sliced spring onions and fresh coriander (cilantro). You could also add a handful of grated cheese, a dollop of sour cream, some avocado or guacamole – whatever you’re into. A heap of rice or a flour tortilla are great accompaniments too.
What are you looking forward to now that autumn is officially upon us?
- 1 large sweet potato (~ 400g), peeled and diced (~ 2 1/2 cups when diced)
- 2 tbsp oil, divided
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 400 g good quality tinned tomatoes (~ 1 1/3 cups)
- 400 g tin kidney beans drained (240g, or ~ 1 1/4 cups, when drained)
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp cayenne chilli pepper
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- Black pepper
- To serve: spring onions, fresh coriander (cilantro), sour cream, avocado, etc. (optional)
Toss the diced sweet potato chunks in 1 tbsp oil, and lay them out in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast at 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F) for around 30 minutes, or until soft and slightly crispy around the edges.
Meanwhile, add the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan, and add the diced onion. Cook over a medium heat for a few minutes, until soft. Add the tinned tomatoes, kidney beans and spices, and bring to a simmer. Cook for at least 10 minutes, until the tomatoes have thickened and the mixture looks nice and rich.
Add the roasted sweet potato pieces to the pan, and mix well. Cook for a few more minutes, then season generously, and serve with your choice of toppings.
Note: Nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above is for 1/2 the recipe, not including toppings.