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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Four Bean Chili for the Soul

It never helps to start the week out sick as a dog. Where does that saying come from anyhow?? Some people say that dogs get sick all of the time because they eat everything in sight from socks to bird droppings... who knows. What I do know for sure is that when I am feeling sick, a big bowl of steaming hot soup is all I want. Yesterday I began pulling out all of my "soup" ingredients and got to work on a chili. I had on hand a variety of beans: black, refried, white and garbanzo beans. I also had nearly 2 1/2 cups of beef broth I needed to use up. I always like to keep a few bags of frozen vegetables in the freezer for stir-fry's or soups, and happened to have a bag of my favorite, fire roasted peppers and onions from Trader Joe's- with the words, "COOK ME" written all over it! The recipe I provide for you below is not exact and is only a general account of the process, as I did not measure or count ingredients as I went along. I hope you can follow the recipe enough to try it on your own with a good dose of experimentation ;). 

(serves 7-10)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 strips bacon, chopped
1 cup diced carrot
1 bag frozen fire roasted peppers and onions, or fresh
3 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup finely minced cilantro 
2 tbsp cumin
2 tbsp oregano
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp pepper
2 1/2 cups beef or vegetable broth
1 1/2-2 cups water
2 cans diced tomatoes, one with liquid and 1 without
1 can white beans, pureed without liquid from can 
1 can garbanzo beans, without liquid 
1 can black beans, pureed without liquid from can 
1 can refried beans 

GARNISH: sour cream, cheese, avocado relish: diced with red onion and a squeeze of lime. 

Add oil to large dutch oven or soup pot over med/high heat and add chopped bacon and carrot. Saute until bacon browns, add bag of peppers, garlic and spices. Saute until aromatic, about 5 minutes. Add Beef broth, water and bring to a boil. Once soup is at a boil, add in tomatoes and beans and stir until well combined. Bring to another boil and then simmer on low with the top on for 20 minutes. When ready to serve, garnish bowls with sour cream, cheese and avocado relish. Soup can be refrigerated and reheated for about a week. 

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