As I mentioned last week, I came back from my stay in Louisville completely inspired to get back in the kitchen. Brittany is an absolute genius in the kitchen when it comes to extracting maximum flavor from minimal ingredients, and after lentil soup and Thai curry , how could I NOT want to soak in some soup of my own? Of course, the most memorable dish was the black bean chili she cooked in mini pumpkins.
In addition to inspiration, I also came back with plantains.
So I figured, “Why not combine the two?”
I’d been creatively surprised to see bananas used in stew before, and starchy (not sweet) plantains seem a perfectly natural pairing with black beans…
….so of course I shouldthrow them in a black bean chili!
Except, well, maybe this is more of a stew.*
*This would definitely be a stew if we were in Texas, of course. No beef? No chili.
I also don’t really know that we can even call it Caribbean, except that black beans and plantains sort of lean in that direction.
I was initially going for a Jamaican Chili, but the only thing “Jamaican” about this, really, is the use of allspice and thyme.
And they might also serve it with greens–or callaloo.
The whole chili concept sort of fell apart when I realized I didn’t actually have any chili powder. But you know what has chili powder IN it? Caribbean, Jamaican, Creole Black Bean & Plantain Chili Stew was just a little too long for an appropriate one-line blog post title, though.
(And for describing on Instagram.)
So you’re stuck with whatever this is.
And whatever this is, is DELICIOUS. Caribbean Black Bean & Plantain Chili
1 1/2 cup sweet onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups chopped bell peppers (frozen or fresh)
1 1/3 cup chopped plantain (yellow, with some black)
1 15-oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. creole seasoning or chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
pinch of cloves
salt & pepper
Saute onion and garlic in a little bit of coconut oil in a soup pot over medium heat.
Once the onions start to soften, add in peppers (if fresh), and allow to cook 3-5 minutes before adding plantains. [If using frozen peppers, as I did, add after the plantains have had a chance to cook for a few minutes.]
Add beans, tomatoes, water, and seasonings to the pot, stirring well.
Bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, 20 minutes or so.
[I like to bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and allow the flavors to meld before reheating a few hours later for dinner, That isn't necessary, although this tastes--like all soups, stews, and chilis--better every subsequent day.]
It is also, most definitely, a Laura -approved Strange but GoodAWESOMEdish bowl .