I made the best damn chili tonight and I think it was partly due to a secret and unexpected ingredient. I happened to have a can of Campbell's Tomato soup lying around so I dumped that into the pot because we're FINALLY moving soon and I am trying to purge the pantry items. The soup adds a pleasing hint of sweetness that isn't at all overpowering or cloying. Surprise, surprise! Who knew one strange ingredient could make chili so good?
This is my usual chili recipe. I normally make it without the soup, but I might not from now on!
- 1 lb of organic ground beef
- one large sweet onion (Maui, Texas Sweet or Vidalia), chopped
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 3-4 dried chilies (optional if you or your loved ones can't handle the heat)
- 4 tbsps chili powder
- 2 tbsps ground cumin
- 2 tbsps chipotle powder
- 1 large (28 oz.) can of whole tomatoes and their juice
- 1 can of tomato soup (optional)
- 1 large 28 oz. can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed (I like Sun Vista brand pinto beans)
- salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.
In a oven-proof Dutch oven or heavy pot, saute the ground beef, onions, garlic, and chilis over medium heat until the meat is browned and onions are translucent. Add in chili powder, cumin, and chipotle powder and cook for 3-4 minutes then add in tomatoes, tomato soup and bring to a simmer. Dump the beans into the pot, put the lid on the pot and stick the entire thing in the oven for 2 hours or if you are me, however long it takes to sit through 2 gym classes. Remove from oven and chili will be ready to eat.
Serve the chili topped with chopped sweet onions, chopped fresh tomatoes, and grated jalapeño jack cheese. And if you are from Hawaii, with hot cooked rice and chili pepper water on the side.
photo: What's Cooking America