I was actually going to save this Blog Post for a future date, but since Polar Vortex II is supposedly approaching our region again, I feel like we all need something warm for our bellies, souls and at this point, mind… I can’t take any more cold! You know at one point this season, I was talking about how mild of a winter we have had considering our snowfall at that point. It wasn’t long after that I took my little Sister and young cousin to see the Disney movie Frozen and everything changed. We started using words like Polar Vortex and -20 and -30 degrees. I feel somewhat to blame. I am starting to think the cold or frozen streak is actually just a fantastic publicity stunt. Well played Disney, well played.
So, when the temps are a mere 7 degrees and when a high of 20 degrees on the local 7-day forecast sounds warm… you know it is time for some comfort food. Behold… an easy and delicious hearty bowl of Chili! Or as I will call it… Bowl For The Soul Chili!
It starts with an ingredient round-up. Shhh… The ground beef was already cooking when I snapped this picture. I know, I ruined this glorious photo op moment. You know when all the ingredients could get to know each other before I shoved them together in a giant stock pot.
Add a Tbsp of olive oil to a stock pot or dutch oven heated to medium high. Once the oil has some ripples, add your ground beer and season with some salt and pepper. As the meat is cooking, chop your veggies. Aren’t they pretty?
Once your ground beef is no longer pink, I create a well or hole in the middle of the beef to add in the veggies.
Add 1/4 cup of water and stare jealously at your veggies as you realize they are warmer than you at the moment. I mean it is like a really great hot tub party.
Now bring the spice to the event by adding Chili Powder and Cumin to the mix.
Add the Chicken Stock and let the chili simmer on low for about an hour. Please know that the 1-hour simmer is not a necessity, especially if you don’t have the time. However, if you can allow the wonderful flavors to do their magic with a low heat simmer, you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may thank me!
Secret Ingredient alert! Nah, just kidding… this is the point that I reward myself with chili’s perfectly paired beverage.
After a nice long simmer, your Chili should look like this.
Add the Kidney Beans, including the liquid. I believe this thickens up the chili. Add the Diced Tomatoes, drained.
Add your second round of spices and again, let chili simmer but this time for about 15 minutes.
I like a thick chili; however, if you like a soupy consistency – add in some more Chicken Broth throughout the process. Ladle your chili in a bowl and serve up with a dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheddar cheese. Now I already told you the perfect beverage partner for chili, but if you want to know who chili’s BFF is around these parts of town look no further than the ol’ fan favorite… Grilled Cheese. These two are a hoot together! Enjoy!
BOWL FOR THE SOUL CHILI:
- 2 Tbsp of Olive Oil
- 1.5 – 2 lbs of Ground Beef – 80%/20%
- 2 – Garlic Cloves – Minced
- 1/2 of Large Sweet Onion – Diced
- 1 – Green Pepper – Diced
- 1 – Red Pepper – Diced
- 1/4 Cup of Water
- 2 Tbsp of Chili Powder
- 2 Tbsp of Cumin
- 1 tsp of Garlic Salt
- 2 Cups of Chicken Broth
- 2 – 15.5 oz Cans of Red Kidney Beans
- 1 – 14.5 oz Can of Diced Tomatoes – Drained (I use Jalapeno Flavored)
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- Sour Cream
- Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Add your olive oil to over medium-high heat. Once the olive oil begins to ripple, add in your ground beef – breaking it up. Once the meat has cooked through, create a well or hole so the bottom of the pan is exposed for the vegetables. Add the diced sweet onion, green pepper and red pepper. Stir and add in your minced garlic and 1/4 cup of water. Add 2 Tbsps of chili powder, 1 Tbsp of cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Stir seasonings and then slowly pour in 2 cups of chicken broth. Reduce heat to low and simmer for approximately one hour, stirring occasionally. Add two cans of kidney beans, including liquid. Then add the can of diced tomatoes, drained. Add your remaining Cumin and 1 tsp of garlic salt, stir and simmer for 15 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls and serve with sour cream and shredded cheddar cheese.
Recipe alterations: When I have a Jalapeno on hand and am in the mood to spice up the chili, I will half and seed the Jalapeno. Dice one half of the Jalapeno and add when you add your vegetables. Then place the other half, whole in when you add the Chicken Stock and allow it to simmer. Remove before you add your beans and dice tomatoes.