My love for sugar burns with the heat of a thousand suns. But even the most sugar-addled among us have to acknowledge the existence of actual food every now and then.
I decided to make a huge batch of chili in our beastly 12 quart stock pot, so that Husband and I can feast over the weekend without having to do much besides put a bowl in the microwave. Chili is one of my comfort foods, and it’s embarrassingly easy to make. There is much chopping of vegetation, to be sure, but it requires very little time actually spent in the kitchen. That gives you time to read the last Wheel of Time volume while grumbling to yourself about how little you remember from all the previous volumes.
Chili is admittedly a mundane sort of food, with a very basic set of instructions: cook meat, add beans and vegetables, simmer. I’m only posting this chili recipe because I have a secret weapon in my chili arsenal: Heinz tomato soup. This soup is imported from England – I can’t believe I even typed that with a straight face – so I know it might be hard, if not downright impossible, for you to find. If this be the case, any brand of tomato soup will do.
I don’t use canned tomatoes in my chili, because I really don’t care for the taste or the watery, lifeless texture. In place of canned tomatoes, I add a can of tomato soup. I also chop up ripe red tomatoes and throw them, juice and all, into the chili. The taste and texture are miles better than that achieved using canned tomato products. In fact, I might as well tell you that canned tomato anything – with the sole exception of Heinz tomato soup, which is much creamier, less acidic, and more flavourful than Campbell’s – is my sworn enemy.
The version below is for a 12 quart stockpot, but it can be easily halved, or thirded, or whatever you fancy. Feel free to change the amount of any ingredient, add a few of your own, and so forth. That’s the beauty of chili: it is so versatile!
It was some years ago that I was in my mother’s kitchen preparing chili, and decided on a whim to add a can of tomato soup that was lurking in my mother’s pantry. I thought I was a culinary genius for using tomato soup in my chili, but apparently, tomato soup chili is a “thing.” 🙂
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Tomato Soup Chili
5 – 6 lbs. raw ground beef
5 onions, chopped
4 cans light or dark red kidney beans (do not drain juice)
4 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans Heinz tomato soup
6 – 8 bell peppers, any colour or colour combination, chopped
8 – 10 tomatoes, chopped (do not discard juices, but instead add to chili mixture)
seasoning to taste (I used a combination of chili powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
Cook beef on medium heat in the same pot the chili will cook in. Drizzle olive oil over beef while it is cooking. Do not drain. Lightly season with salt, pepper, and spices. (You will season the chili again after all the ingredients are added.) When the beef is about 80% cooked, add onions and cover. Cook on medium, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 15 minutes.
Add kidney beans, corn, tomato soup, and peppers. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 70 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes and seasoning and simmer for an additional 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool slightly.
Serve with rice or pasta and top with cheese.