Beef & Black Bean Chili with Chipolte and Avocado

3 15-oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14-1/2-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 medium chipolte plus 2 T adobo sauce
2 T olive oil
1 lb ground beef
kosher salt
1 lg. red onion, finely diced
1-1/2 T chili powder
2 t cumin
1 lime, juiced
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro
freshly ground black pepper
1 ripe avocado, cut into a medium dice

Put one can of beans into food processor or blender, along with the tomatoes and their juices, the chipotle and adobo sauce.  Process until smooth and set aside.

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat until it's shimmering hot, about 2 minutes.  Add the beef, season with 1/2 t salt and cook, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat until it loses its raw color, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the beef to a large plate using a slotted spoon.  Add half the onion and 1/4 t salt and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown and soften, about 3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium.  Add chili powder and cumin and cook for 20 seconds.  Add the remaining black beans, the pureed mixture and the beef to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add half the lime juice, half the cilantro and salt & pepper to taste. 

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix the remaining lime juice and onion with the avocado.  Season generously with salt and pepper.  Serve the chili topped with the avocado mixture and remaining cilantro.

Fine Cooking (March 2006, No. 77, page 82C)