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Monday, October 1, 2012

Pork Harvest Chili

Today we begin Soup Month 2012, and what better way to launch this exciting month of 31 new soup, stew and chili recipes than with a beautiful Pork Harvest Chili.  The flavors are bold and spicy and although the ingredients might hold a few surprises, this chili is packed with healthy vegetables, lean pork and creamy navy beans.  And it is spicy!

One of the ingredients that may be a bit uncommon would be sweet potatoes.  Most people think sweet potatoes are only served "sweet" with cinnamon and nutmeg or honey or even those little marshmallows melted on top.  But sweet potatoes are also delicious when used as a savory ingredient.  They add a delicate touch to the chili and add an interesting layer of flavor that compliments the spices.  They also add a great deal of nutritional value to this very healthy meal.

Don't let the spicy flavor scare you away from trying this delicious chili.  To create a more mild batch, simply reduce the amounts of chili powder and cumin used in the recipe (adjustments for these are included below).  For a vegan-friendly chili, add an extra can of navy beans in place of the pork.  I hope you enjoy this chili as much as we did and welcome to Soup Month!!

1 TB  Canola Oil
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 medium Green Pepper, chopped
1 Carrot, peeled and chopped
1 Celery Stalk, chopped
1 TB  Minced Garlic
1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 lb  Boneless Pork Sirloin cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp  Salt
1 tsp  Ground Black Pepper
1 1/2 TB  Chili Powder (for a milder flavor start with 2 tsp)
2 tsp  Cumin  (use 1 tsp for a mild flavor)
1 tsp  Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tsp  Dried Oregano
1 cup  Chicken Broth
1 14-oz can  Diced Tomatoes, do not drain
1 Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce, diced
1 TB  Adobo Sauce
1 15-oz can  Navy Beans
Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt for Garnish

In a large soup pot heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and sweet potato and cook about 10 minutes until vegetables are just tender.  Season the pork with salt and pepper and add the meat to the pot.  Cook until browned, stirring frequently,  about 5 minutes.

Add the chili powder, cumin, cocoa and oregano to the pot, stir and cook for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and tomatoes with the juice to the pot, then add the chipotle pepper and adobo sauce.  Stir until combined, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 60 - 90 minutes or until the pork is very tender. 

Add the navy beans, stir and cook for 5 minutes longer until beans are heated through.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream or a light Greek yogurt.  Enjoy!!

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