Smoky and sweet, satisfying and delicious, this Smoky Black Bean Chili makes a great weeknight dinner. It can also be made in the slow cooker. It freezes well.
Soak black beans overnight, covered with water. Drain.
If using ground beef, heat a soup pot over medium-high heat, and add olive oil when hot. Add ground beef, and cook, stirring occasionally. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Once beef is no longer pink, turn down heat to medium and add onion, bell pepper, garlic, spices, and another 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add soaked and drained black beans, water, and another 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil, turn heat to a simmer, and cover. Cook for 50-60 minutes, until black beans are soft. If chili starts to stick, add a little bit more water.
When beans are soft, add tomatoes and corn, if using, and simmer for another 10 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. Serve and garnish with your favorite toppings.
*Canned black beans may be used in place of dry, use 2 15-oz. cans.
**If not using meat, substitute 1-2 cups frozen or fresh corn, or more beans.