Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Serving Up {Soup}: Beef & Red Bean Chili

Soup weather has come - and with a vengeance!  I know I am not the only one having CRAZY fall weather!  A week into October and I am hearing about snow falling in parts of the country and here in the Northwest we are keeping our canoes and kayaks handy in case we need to make a water getaway!  Sheesh!  We ended the month of September with all kinds of record breaking rainfall.  Who do I need to talk to arrange a few more days of sunshine?  Our house is getting painted and the rain isn't helping that project one bit!

When the weather turns cold, I immediately think "soup".  And while I may quickly tire of the cold, wet weather, I don't really ever tire of the soup.  This chili recipe is an adaption of my aunt's delicious chili.  I still remember my aunt making this when I was pretty young and touting that you could make the entire thing using "only your microwave" - that was when microwaves were cool and new and sat on their very own microwave stand.  30 years later we have learned a few things about those cool microwaves and I was happy to return this recipe to the stovetop where it belongs.  Same great flavor minus a few electromagnetic waves.  Serve with a hearty cornbread (I would suggest this recipe) and some delicious honey butter (come back on Thursday for that recipe) and you are ready for any weather that might be on the horizon.

One Year Ago: Sesame Chicken
Two Years Ago: Thai Coconut Ginger Broth

(recipe adapted from aunt Marie)
printable version

2 lbs. hamburger
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tsp. garlic, minced
32-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
15-ounce can tomato sauce
2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, drained
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbs. chili powder
1 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. cumin powder
1/2 tsp. Tabasco
2 bay leafs
8 whole cloves
8 whole allspice

Tie cloves and allspice into a small peice of cheesecloth and set aside the "spice bag".
Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat and add hamburger, onion and garlic.  Continue to cook until hamburger is no longer pink.  Drain excess fat.  Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Add spice bag and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer, covered for one hour.
Flavor is best if you place cooked chili in the fridge overnight, with bay leaf and spice bag in place.
Rewarm and discard spices before serving.

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