cooking Easy Recipes

Soup Sunday: Slow Cooker Two-Bean Chili

This is super easy and very filling. Eat it with any mixture of starch and fat – I’m eating it on top of macaroni and cheese, but it would also be great on buttered noodles, mashed potatoes, rice with some oil, or nachos and cheese.

I’m making extra servings because this stuff gets better after spending a night or two in the fridge.

Measure your dry spices and set them out in order:

  • Cumin Seed, 2 tsp
  • Crushed Red Pepper, 2 tsp
  • Cumin Powder, 2 tsp
  • Chili Powder, 2 TBSP
  • Paprika, 2 tsp

Open your cans

  • Tomato, 2x 14.5oz Can,
  • Black Beans, 15oz Can, drain and rinse
  • Red Kidney Beans, 15oz Can, drain and rinse

Put your tomatoes and beans in the slow cooker and set it to low heat.

Prep your produce and herbs

  • Onion (Red or White), 1 Large ~ 2 Cup, Finely Chopped
  • Garlic, 5 Cloves, minced or crushed

Get going with the flavor!

  • Toast cumin seeds and crushed red pepper in a skillet until seeds start to pop (30-60 seconds)
  • Add some Olive Oil
  • [maybe add carrots or celery]
  • Add Onion, salt, cumin, oregano, black pepper. Mix well.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes until soft
  • Add chili powder and paprika and stir it up until fragrant.
  • Clear a spot in the center for the garlic. Add some more oil then the garlic. Cook it until fragrant ~30-60 seconds.
  • Stir in a little of your tomato-bean mixture and get everything thoroughly combined.
  • Transfer the deliciousness from the pan to the slow cooker, mixing it in bit-by-bit.
  • Let it slowly cook in the slow cooker. Taste it every once in a while.

At first, mine was very acidic and bland, but after a couple hours, it tasted smoky and spicy.


  • This was just as much volume as my small slow cooker could take, so I’ll probably end up cutting this recipe in half.
cooking gastro-tourism Italia 2020 Gennaio

My second lesson at Mama Florence

This place is so awesome! The instructors are great chefs and excellent teachers: they are engaging, fun, patient, and quite knowledgeable. In addition to teaching us how to make the food, they shared helpful information about technique and food science. (Anyone who knows me knows these are a few of my favorite things.) I was almost sad to leave at the end of the lesson.

It was also more fun this time because Mom was with me. After thousands of pizzas she’s made for me, I was finally able to return the favor.

Today we made pizza (with perfect crust!), tagliatelle with black kale and garlic pesto, eggless cavatelli with eggplant ragù, and (without any exaggeration) the BEST gelato I have ever tasted – orange and vanilla with berry sauce.

If you are ever in Florence, you absolutely must treat yourself to a class at Mama Florence!

Here are the finished products:

A couple of process photos:

Our class also included a tour of the Mercato Centrale, where our instructor taught us about the vegetables, fresh pasta, cheeses, and meats. She even gave us a cheese tasting (but I was too busy to take a photo of that).