Southwest Bean and Tomato Stew

Southwest Bean and Tomato Stew

Community meeting training session dinner, 3/26/12 – served with mixed rices and barley

Cocoa may seem like a strange addition, but it adds a complex, savory flavor that works well here. This recipe is a great way to use up leftovers, so feel free to put in whatever leftover cooked meats you have on hand.

  • 2 teaspoons canola, vegetable, or olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 14.5-ounce can whole, diced, or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ cup cooked beans or 1 can beans, any variety (For more information on cooking beans, see the dry bean guide)
  • ½ cup cooked (can be leftover) chicken, beef, or pork (ground, sliced, shredded – whatever you have on hand), optional
  • salt
  • plain yogurt (or substitute sour cream; optional)
  • lime juice (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)

In a large pot or saucepan, heat oil. Add onion, carrot, and celery (if using) and cook until beginning to brown. Add garlic, spices, and cocoa and cook one more minute.

Add tomatoes with liquid (if using whole tomatoes, crush them with your hands as you add them). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer for 10 minutes.

Add beans, meat, and vegetables (if using) and continue to simmer for 20 more minutes.

Add salt to taste. Top with yogurt, lime juice, and/or cilantro, if desired, to serve.

Yield: 4 servings


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