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Black Bean Chili with Winter Squash and Greens

05 February

1 cups dried black beans, soaked overnight, or 3 14-ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed well
2 quarts water (if cooking the beans)
4“ piece of kombu seaweed (kelp found at health food stores, optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2½ cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1 small butternut or delicata squash, peeled and diced into ½ inch pieces (2 – 3 cups)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2½ cups chicken or vegetable broth, or water
1 14-ounce can tomatoes or 1½ – 2 cups fresh tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 bunch chard or other greens, stems removed, washed well and chopped
¼ – ½ cup fresh cilantro


  1. Drain the black beans, place in a medium to large saucepan cover with 2 quarts water, kombu, and 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover and cook until the beans are tender, 30 – 45 minutes (bean cooking time can vary widely depending how fresh the beans are). Check them at 30 minutes and then every 5 minutes or so until the beans are completely cooked through and are very tender.
  2. In another large saucepan, heat the olive and then add the onions. Sauté occasionally, until the onions are golden, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the diced squash and garlic and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the chili powder and cumin and sauté for 30 seconds.
  4. When your beans are tender, drain, reserving the bean cooking liquid if you want to use it in your chili.
  5. Add the beans, 2½ cups of the bean cooking liquid, broth, and the diced tomatoes to the onion mixture. Bring everything to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until the squash is tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Stir in the greens and cook for about 5 minutes or until the greens are tender.
  7. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper. If desired, stir in cilantro. If you like tour chili spicier, add a bit of pureed chipotle chilies or a dash of cayenne pepper.

Makes about 2 ½ quarts

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