Friday, August 5, 2011


I know this is really not your classic summer meal, but I grew up with this staple during all seasons. I tried to replicate what my mom would make, so I asked her more or less what she puts in it and tried making my own. Again, I started with what I learned from my biggest teacher. I don't follow a recipe at all, but it turns out great. The beauty of soups/stews is that you can add more or less of any ingredient to your liking and it will still turn out great. I've made other soups, too but this one will always be a favorite. This is how I made it:

5 oz Red Kidney Beans + 3 cups of water in a big stockpot
1lb ground beef
1 large stalk of celery (or two small)
1 large carrot
1 medium onion, diced
4-6 cloves of garlic
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp taco seasoning

2 tsp cumin
2 tsp badia complete seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp chili flakes
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup of corn
28 oz diced tomato
1 beef bouillon cube (or 1 cup beef stock for more liquid)
1 small bunch of cilantro, chopped in the food processor.

1) Bring beans & 3 cups of water to a boil in a large stockpot, then turn to med-low for 1 hours (until soft). take off the burner and set aside.
2) While the beans are cooking, chop your onion, and cut the celery & carrot into chunks. Throw into food processor.
2) Brown ground beef in a deep saucepan. Drain fat if needed. Add onion, celery, and carrot, then crush the garlic into the pan. Keep covered on medium heat until onions turn translucent.
3) Add spices and mix well. Take the beef off the heat and put the beans back on.
4) Add corn and tomatoes to beans in stockpot, then add beef mixture. Mix well and heat on med-low for another 20 mins.
5) Add cilantro, mix and serve.
Note: this will produce a thick chili. For more soup-like chili, add 1.5 cups of water mixed with a tbsp of tomato paste. Servings this yields? I haven't counted that yet, but it seems like 6-8 depending on how much you serve...

This is one of those recipes that improves with time. I'd like to try this out in a slow cooker from this point; I think the slow simmer does wonders for the flavors. I make double this recipe and freeze it. I doubled this recipe in the pictures you see here. You can serve it over rice, by itself, or on mac n' cheese. We like to put raw onions, sour cream, and cheddar on top!

I do not pre-soak my beans. I've done the "quick method" for soaking dry beans, and the way I mentioned here works much better. If the beans are not done by the hour mark, just leave them on a separate burner while you start to brown the beef.

Bring beans & 3 cups of water to a boil in a large stockpot, then turn to med-low for 1 hours (until soft). take off the burner and set aside. They will get bigger as they cook.

Brown your meat and drain fat if needed.

Add the raw veggies (My carrots got old, so I didn't use them this time)

Cover and let them cook until the onions are soft.

Add the spices & seasoning. 

See how the beans have improved? All that thick liquid will add body and flavor to the chili.

Add the corn and tomato. If you feel like you need more, go ahead! This is your chili now.

I mixed in the beef and let everything heat up. I left it on for about an hour, but you don't *have* to leave it on for that long. I turned it to med-low and let it simmer.

I added the cilantro last. I chopped the stems and leaves of an entire bunch of cilantro. This is optional, but I think it adds a wonderful flavor.

We ate it with shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream on top.


  1. Jean Arneberg LarreaAugust 5, 2011 at 12:58 PM

    Your mom would be proud :-)

    Thanks for the attribution. It's nice to know I have had a culinary influence, and you have been a worthy pupil!
    I must say I am impressed. I never even thought about writing down my recipe much less photographing my efforts! Then again, I don't recall ever making such a small (read:normal) batch of chili. I typically use 6# of beef...

  2. Regarding accoutrements--don't forget your brothers' current version: chili mac! Serve chili over spaghetti noodles, topped with leftover spaghetti sauce and the aforementioned onions/cheese/sour cream.

    I still prefer it plain!