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posted: 11/3/2011 3:00 PM

Black Bean Chili with Cornbread Crust

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  • Even the most enthusiastic carnivore will love this vegetarian chili made from a recipe in Lynn Alley's "50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker."

      Even the most enthusiastic carnivore will love this vegetarian chili made from a recipe in Lynn Alley's "50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker."
    Courtesy of Andrews McMeel


1 pound (2 cups) dried black beans

6 cups water

6 allspice berries

1 stick cinnamon

1 teaspoon cumin seed

1 teaspoon coriander seed

teaspoon aniseed

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes

1 medium onion, peeled and diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

cup diced red bell pepper

cup diced green bell pepper

1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano

1-2 tablespoons chili powder

cup unsweetened cocoa powder


1 cup cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoons baking powder

teaspoon baking soda

teaspoon salt

2 eggs

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

Garnishes (any or all)

cup sour cream or nonfat yogurt

cup thinly sliced scallions

cup sliced black olives

cup chopped fresh cilantro

Rinse the beans thoroughly and place them, along with the water, in a 7-quart slow cooker.

In a spice mill or mortar and pestle, grind allspice, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and aniseed. Add spices to the beans, along with tomatoes, onion, garlic, bell peppers, oregano, chili powder and cocoa powder. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours, until beans are tender. Turn up slow cooker to HIGH.

Make the crust: In a food processor, pulse cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt until thoroughly mixed. Add eggs, vegetable oil and buttermilk and pulse until the liquid and dry ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Spread cornbread mixture over the top of the chili, or drop large spoonfuls around the surface of the chili, and cook on HIGH with the lid slightly ajar 1 hour longer, or until a toothpick inserted into the crust comes out clean. Ladle the soup into bowls. Top each bowl with toppings of your choice.

Serves six to eight.

"50 Simple Soups for the Slow Cooker" by Lynn Alley (2011 Andrews McMeel)

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