This is another good soup to make when it’s cold outside. Some call it chili and others call it chili soup. I usually call it chili soup, because I make it soupy and not as thick as other versions. If you read my vegetable soup recipe and thought that was easy, you’ll be happy to know that this is just as easy, if not easier. Again, I got this from my mom, but added the diced tomatoes and some experimental spices.
1-1.5 lb. browned lean ground beef, turkey or meat substitute of your choice
1 46 OZ can of 100% tomato juice
1 6 OZ can of tomato paste
1 regular sized can of kidney beans
2 regular sized cans of chili beans
1 can chili-ready diced tomatoes (optional if you like pieces of tomatoes; it has several chili spices already in it, so you won’t need as much seasoning. If you don’t use it, add more seasoning to taste.)
1 small white onion chopped (optional)
Seasoning to taste, which seems to change every time I make it, but I actually kept track this time, if that helps. Honestly, all you need is cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper until it tastes decent. Recently, however, I added a few more spices and it turned out even better. Here are the spices I used:
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Chili powder
½ tsp. Onion powder
½ tsp. Garlic powder
½ tsp. Kroger brand fajita seasoning
½ tsp. Mrs. Dash salt-free table blend
½ tsp. Salt
½ tsp. Pepper
Step 1: Brown a pound of hamburger or defrost some
You may want to throw the onions in with the hamburger when you brown it, but you don’t have to.
Step 2: Chop the onion if you haven’t already
Step 3: Open the cans
Step 4: Dump everything into a large pot or 6.5 quart or larger slow cooker
You can start heating everything in the pot or slow cooker while you defrost or brown the meat. Then just add the meat when it’s done.
Step 5: Heat it
Now all you have to do is heat it. Like most soups, it is “done” as soon as it’s hot, but it gets better with simmering. I usually bring it to a boil, stirring fairly often. Then I put it on low for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. Once it is simmering, I add the spices. I made it in a slow cooker last time by putting it on high for an hour or two and then low for a couple of hours. If I had more time, I would’ve put it on low for 6-8 hours. Don’t add the spices in a slow cooker until closer to eating it, as slow cookers affect the spices somehow if added too early. Keep in mind that if you like spicy chili, you can always add your spice of choice, hotter chili beans or hot peppers. I don’t like really spicy food, so this is pretty mild.
Step 6: Eat it!
I like to eat it with open-faced peanut butter bread, cornbread or grilled cheese. I also like to put shredded cheddar cheese and crushed Fritos it the soup. Others like crackers.
Nutrition: Like vegetable soup, there is a ton of Vitamin C in this, which is great for the immune system, as well as Vitamin A, calcium, iron, fiber and protein. The soup is basically fat free unless you used really fatty meat. But here’s a trick: After the soup is cooled in the refrigerator, the fat will float to the top and harden and you can just pick it out before reheating it. Also, I think we’re all aware of chili’s “effects,” if you will, so I wouldn’t eat it the day of a big date or interview. Ha!
I’m not sure how to price this because there are so many spices and extras that add to the cost if you don’t have them in the first place. If we’re talking just the basic soup, assuming you already have spices, you will definitely be able to make it for less than $10. If you need to buy chips, bread, peanut butter, cheese, etc., then it might add another $5-10, but it should feed at least 8-10 people, so $1 or $2 a person still isn’t bad.
Remember, you can freeze some if it makes too much for you, but it makes great leftovers. I’ve been eating it for days. Since I made vegetable soup last week and chili this week, I’ve mainly been subsisting on tomato-based soup for two weeks and have had to cook very little. I love these soups, but I think I’ve had enough. The next soup will have to be something completely different, like cheesy potato or something.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy this version of chili soup and stay warm if you’re in a cold area like I am.
If you missed my vegetable soup recipe, you can read it here. To read more by this writer, click here. Hit Follow or Subscribe and enter your e-mail if you want to be notified when she publishes.