The cafeteria at work has a soup station that features three different soups every week. I used to eat the chicken chili, vegetable soup, and other "normal" sounding soups on a regular basis. But that stopped a while back when I became bored of them.

It had been a while since I paid much attention to what they had to offer, but something out of the ordinary caught my eye on Tuesday. Walking by the soup station, I noticed that the chili pot was labeled "black bean and sweet potato chili with chocolate."

My first reaction was disbelief. I found it hard to believe that anyone would have thought to put sweet potatoes in chili. But beyond that, I was even more surprised to see chocolate listed as a major ingredient in a chili. After that brief consideration, I realized I had no choice but to try it.

I grabbed one of the sampling spoons and tried a bit. It wasn't bad but it wasn't enough to really form an opinion. So I grabbed a bowl and headed back to my desk. (Yes, I'm lame. I eat lunch at my desk while reading blogs and looking at server logs.)

The soup grew on me. In fact, I liked it so much that I had another bowl for lunch today and even recommended it a few people on their way to the cafeteria.

Thumbs up.

Posted by jzawodn at October 20, 2005 09:16 PM

Reader Comments
# Jude said:

It was even vegan! I had it both days in a row as well.

on October 20, 2005 10:55 PM
# Adam said:

I'm less stunned about the ingredient combinations than I am about you being "lame" and eating at your desk.

At least at previous companies I've worked at, a huge portion of my learning ("workwise" and otherwise) took place when schmoozing with my colleagues over lunch.

Don't get me wrong... I've done quite my share of eating at my desk when I either was up against a deadline or feeling antisocial or both... but I'd hate to think that Y! culture encourages folks to eat at their desks. Say it ain't so, Jeremy! ;)

on October 20, 2005 11:00 PM
# dan isaacs said:

Z, you need to come down here. In the South, they do everything with Sweet Potatoes. The best are the french fried SP's.

now, eating at your desk isn't really lame. It's probably the only time someone that works in a busy office and attends meetings a good part of hte day has to themselves.

on October 21, 2005 05:29 AM
# jr said:

Nope, Yahoo's got a fairly big and always crowded cafeteria with lots of outdoor seating for when that fills up. I've seen folks skip the noise of the main hall and gather up on the roof-decks. Folks are always welcome to tables and discussions and you're right about learning a lot from folks. If you eat at your desk, it's your decision.

Still, every now and then, it's kinda nice to have a private lunch.

Regarding the soup, chocolate only tastes sweet because of the sugar they add, without it, it's rich and very bitter. It makes a nice complement for spicy foods. Sadly, I've yet to acquire a taste for Molé, mosty since I've yet to have a good one, I think.

on October 21, 2005 07:53 AM
# RandomLoser said:

[quote](Yes, I'm lame. I eat lunch at my desk while reading blogs and looking at server logs.)[/quote]

Paranoid about something? ;=)

on October 21, 2005 09:19 AM
# Serge Lescouarnec said:


Good afternoon

Is there any way you could send me the recipe so i can post it on my BLOG.

Thank you.

Serge Lescouarnec
aka Serge the Concierge
Montclair Concierges
Montclair, New Jersey

on October 21, 2005 10:37 AM
# J Wynia said:

The sweet potato portion surprises me more than the chocolate. Spicy peppers and chocolate go together really well. The first 2000 years that human beings had chocolate, it was done entirely as a beverage and started out as a spicy/bitter beverage with peppers and the cocoa.

Chocolate and coffee both add complex flavors to savory dishes and are great "secret" ingredients that people can't figure out when they taste it. They "like" it, but can't really describe why. You don't want to add enough that it becomes dominant, but a little bit really enhances the food.

on October 21, 2005 01:51 PM
# Dougal Campbell said:

Yeah, I've had chili with chocolate in it lots of times (usually baking chocolate, not sweet). And also "Mexican hot chocolate", with pepper in it, as well.

But I haven't tried a chili with sweet potatoes before. I'll have try that sometime!

on October 21, 2005 02:25 PM
# Dude said:

There was a lunch soup cafe I used to frequent when I lived in Wichita, KS (yes, Wichita, KS). There would always be your usual chili, clam chowder, chicken noodle, etc, on the menu, but your best bet was always to pick the strangest sounding soup on the menu. It will almost always be the best.

That's what I tell people now. Pick the soup on the menu that sounds like something you'd never eat and you'll almost never be disappointed.

on October 21, 2005 09:14 PM
# John Dowdell said:

Try sweet potato (or pumpkin) and chili... gets you going on a cold day. The chocolate just makes it a mole, I guess.... ;-)

on October 24, 2005 08:12 AM
# Theresa said:

Do you have the reciple for this, I am going to a chili cookoff tomorrow and would like to try and make it.

on March 3, 2006 10:22 AM
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