In New Mexico, “chile” (with an -e) means something entirely different than it does to most of the country. I’m talking about that highly addictive Hatch pepper that we New Mexicans unashamedly crave for breakfast, lunch and dinner. “Red or Green?” must be the most FAQ here, no doubt.
And so is the reason my New Mexican family calls this recipe “Ohio” Chili Soup – it’s namesake coming from our ancestors of that lush, green state. To them it was just Chili Soup, because it has beans, meat and tomatoes. There is no spicy New Mexican pepper in this soup (though we’ve been guilty of adding it) and it’s not what you may think of when you hear chili, either.
What it is to us is the very simple, nutritious and highest-ranking among all comfort foods that has been feeding our family for well over 100 years. We come from hardworking Ohio farmers who had a great respect for life and for nature and who mostly just ate what they grew and raised. Their hearty Chili Soup nourished them, warmed them and is still today a favorite to us “city folk”. And we make it year-round, even in the 95° high desert heat.
In honor of my Great-Grandma who brought this one to the great Southwest in the 1950s, I’m so happy to share this tasty soup with you. It doesn’t get much simpler than this!
- 1 to 1 1/2 lbs grassfed ground beef (or ground bison, ground turkey or any combination thereof)
- 1 medium to large white or yellow onion, diced
- 2 32 ounce jars or cans of diced or crushed tomatoes*
- 2 32 ounce jars or cans of tomato sauce
- 2 medium to large potatoes, diced
- 1 cup corn
- 2 cups cooked dark red kidney beans
- salt and pepper
*I also like to use fresh tomatoes if I have enough on hand. You may also want to add tomato paste with a some water to achieve the taste and consistency you prefer. I like this very soupy, some prefer it thick and more stew-like.
- In a large pot, brown ground beef with onion, salt and pepper until cooked or nearly cooked. Drain grease.
- Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, potatoes and corn. Simmer on low to medium heat for 1-2 hours, until potatoes are cooked thoroughly and all flavors have had a chance to combine well. Add beans in at last 1/2 hour.
- Add more salt and pepper, if desired.
Serve with oyster crackers, table crackers or whatever you like. My Grandma even added a spoonful of grassfed butter to her bowl which made it even more savory.
This will make a huge pot of soup with 20 or more servings and it freezes and reheats beautifully. I hope you and your family enjoy it in good health. Don’t forget to buy from your local farmers and ranchers!
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