(recipe was adapted to an oil-free version from Robin Robertson's Quick-Fix Vegan)
1 large sweet onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons of grated unweetened chocolate (I could have used cocoa, but I figured chocolate might make a difference--who knows?)
2 tablepoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar (or other sweetener)
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5 ounce) can of diced fire-roasted tomatoes, including juice
1 (14.5 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes (yes, you read that right--2 cans of tomatoes)
2 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced (Warning: Start with one, especially if you don't like a lot of heat. You can always add in the other one after tasting)
3 cups of home-cooked black beans, or 2 (15 ounce) cans, drained and rinsed (I used canned)
1 cup of low-sodium vegetable broth (extra 1/4-1/2 cup for sauteeing onion)
Highly recommended options to add in:
1 1/2 cups of roasted or plain frozen corn, thawed.
1 small already roasted/baked/microwaved sweet potato, cubed into small pieces
1. Heat a large pot over medium heat.
2. Add the onion and garlic. Cover and cook until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Peek in half-way to see if the onion is sticking--add 1/4 cup of broth to deglaze the pan, if needed.
3. Stir in the chocolate, chili powder, cumin, paprika, oregano, sugar, salt (If using) and pepper.
4. Add the diced & crushed tomatoes, and chipotle chilis and stir until well blended.
4. Add the beans and broth and bring to a boil. Note: If you are adding in the corn &/or sweet potato, add it in now. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chili thickens and the flavors have developed, 20-25 minutes.
5. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Serve hot.