Vegetarian Black Bean Chili
- 2 1/4 cups dried black beans
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 yellow onions, chopped
- 2 fresh serrano or jalapeño chili peppers, seeded and minced
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 6 Tbs. chili powder
- 3 Tbs. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 cans (28 oz. each) crushed tomatoes
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup coarsely grated Monterey jack cheese
In a large, heavy saucepan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and chili peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne and oregano and sauté, stirring, for 2 minutes more. Add the beans, tomatoes and water to cover by 3 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the beans are very tender and have begun to fall apart, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Add water if the beans begin to dry out but are not yet cooked.
Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls, sprinkle with the cheese and serve immediately.