December Market Soup
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Warm-Your-Soul Southern Sweet Potato Chili

Vegetarian Chili

I am going to try a slightly sketchy recipe with you today - sketchy in the way my grandmother was when asked how to make her melt-in-the-mouth buttermilk biscuits or spongy, perfect-for-mopping-up-collard-juice cornbread. How perplexing it was to receive a recipe that was measuring-utensil free; "a piece  of butter the size of a bantam egg" or "a child's handful of White Lily" - more like poetry than food prep instructions.  

This recipe won't be so poetic, but it will be a little hard to pin down - in a practical, use-what-you've got and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants way.  You are going to LOVE this chili. The hundred hungry, meat-eating men who dined at our house between noon and six would think so anyway.


  • Garlic, a couple diced cloves if you're not crazy about it, up to a head if you are
  • Onions, chop enough to fill about 1/8 of your soup pot
  • Olive oil, enough to cover bottom of your soup pot generously
  • Chili powder, enough to strongly color the onions and garlic
  • Water to bring level up to about 1/4
  • Diced tomatoes to bring level up to about 1/2
  • Chopped sweet potatoes, enough to raise level to 5/8 or so
  • Chopped greens, a handful
  • Cooked kidney beans, to bring level to 3/4, or slightly more
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Honey to taste (opt.)

Saute onions and garlic in oil till onions are translucent. Add chili powder and stir just a minute. Add water and diced tomatoes and bring to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and greens and cook till softened. Add pre-cooked kidney beans. Taste for seasonings. Add salt and pepper as needed. I always add a little honey - a holdover from a past recipe that I loved. I think it helps tone down the acidity of the tomatoes. And it's just good.

If you try this recipe, please comment and let me know how it turns out. And remember, sweet potatoes and greens are abundant at the farmers market!


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This is the PERFECT way to write a recipe. It moves so much faster when your cooking :)

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