The idea of one-pot cooking is irresistible. We’re all drawn to the prospect of a speedy, less-messy meal. I made this sweet potato vegetarian chili because I enjoy cooking in one pot. You can’t cook everything that way, but soups, stews, and chilies are truly one-pot wonders. It’s easy to lose yourself over just one task in just one pot. You start with a building block of something as simple as sauteed onions and you add layers until it’s done. Sometimes you don’t know it’s done until its done.
This chili however came together entirely differently. I’ve been working on this one-pot vegetarian chili for 4 (or more) years now. It’s a staple at our good friend’s annual (except last year) potluck chili and tree trimming party. It seems I’m the only one inclined to attempt an eclectic vegetarian chili. And every chili party needs an eclectic vegetarian chili.
Chili is a particularly satisfying one-pot wonder. I’ve posted several versions from pork to fish. Chili embraces variety and by nature is eccentric: no two are alike, unless of course you get your chili from a can.
But this chili comes from my imagination, so each time I make it I tweak it just a bit more. I keep notes on this vegetarian chili year-after-year and I think I finally have it to a place where you can make it yourself. GREG
Technically this vegetarian chili is no longer a one-pot wonder. It requires a baking sheet to roast the sweet potatoes. I did start out as a one pot meal. However, in the couple of years it took to finish writing this recipe I discovered the potatoes taste better and have better texture when roasted. It’s a step you can do a day or so in advance and then adopt a one-pot mentality once you begin to assemble the chili.