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Black Bean Chili

1 pound dry black beans
2 tablespoons oil
6 garlic cloves -- minced or pressed
2 onions -- chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes -- (more if you like hot food)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 can chopped tomatoes in juice - (28 oz)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups water
1 can tomato paste - (6 oz)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 cans contrasting beans (pinto, garbanzo, great northern, etc. ) -- drained, rinsed


Garnishes:
Grated cheese
Sour cream
Chopped fresh parsley
Chopped green onion


Rinse and sort the dried beans and place in the slow cooker with a generous amount of water. Cook on LOW overnight (no presoaking necessary). In the morning drain the cooking water.

Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté the onions, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute, then add chili powder and cumin and cook 2 minutes, stirring.

Add this mixture to the slow cooker along with all remaining ingredients except canned beans and garnishes. Stir well and cook on LOW all day. Stir in canned beans an hour or so before serving. Serve with garnishes.

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