Many years ago I received a subscription to Chile Pepper magazine from my cousin. Though I never cooked anything out of the issues I did collect quite a stack of recipes to try.
Since then, here and there, I've picked up an issue with good intentions to try at least one recipe. When I went through the November 2008 issue I realized it was time to get up off my duff and make something instead of just tearing out a recipe and filing it away.
Tons of things sounded good. Spicy Crisped Chickpeas, Hungarian Goulash, Stuffed Jalapenos (which resulted in my habanero debacle). But since it was cold and rainy outside I figured the first dish to try was this chili soup. And yes, I have since bought more issues of Chile Pepper magazine. If you have a taste for anything hot and spicy, it's worth it.
It's definitely more of a soup than a thick chili. I really liked the spiciness of the dish though Mr. L found it a bit too spicy for him (the magazine rates the 'zest level' for this dish at medium). It wasn't really hot (as in burn your insides to your knees) just spicy. The cilantro cream worked really well with this soup. The jalapeno I used wasn't very hot at all and it gave the cream a nice flavor. I actually mixed a bit more cream than probably suggested into my chili soup. This also heated up great the next day...a bit spicier and the flavors had a chance to meld a bit.
This went together fairly quickly. I made the Cilantro Cream (included below) while the soup was simmering for an hour.
The Chile Pepper magazine recipe was adapted from a Robert Rose recipe. The magazine suggests serving the chili soup with warm tortilla chips on the side (I think it would work over rice too).
KNOCK-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF CHIPOTLE CHILI SOUP
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (14-oz) can crushed tomatoes with added puree or diced tomatoes with juice
6 cups beef stock
3 tablespoons minced chipotle chiles in adobo
2 (15-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Cilantro Cream (see recipe below)
Corn Tortilla Chips (optional)
In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add ground beef and saute, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Drain any excess fat. Add garlic and onions; cook until softened, about 6 minutes. Add chili powder, salt and pepper; saute for 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes, stock and chiles; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour. Add beans, and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Ladle into heated bowls, and top each with a dollop of cilantro cream. Stick a few chips upright into the cream. Serves 6 to 8.
Note: I used ground chuck. I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes. I used S&W canned black beans.
Note: I actually didn't use all of the two onions I cut up. I considered the onions to be medium size but after chopping them up, it just seemed like to much onion so I only put in about 3/4 of what I had.
1 cup packed cilantro sprigs, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
In a small bowl, stir together cilantro, jalapeno, sour cream, lime juice, and salt to taste.
Note: This was very tasty and I can see using it with other soups, stews, on baked potatoes, in an omelet....