My Friend Amy is hosting the Fall Festival Recipe Exchange. Can you believe she's recouped enough from BBAW to think of something else so fun and creative. She must have boundless amounts of energy.
When the weather starts getting chilly and the trees are decked out in beautiful shades of orange, yellow and red my tummy automatically shifts from its desire for summer squash, swiss chard and cucumbers to yearnings for soups, meatloaf, apple crisp, and baked acorn squash. (It never does stop its hankering for fresh tomatoes, though!)
As long as I can remember my mother would bake meatloaf, baked potatoes, acorn squash and Brown Betty (apple crisp) all at once for the most satisfying fall meals. I still carry on that tradition and it makes me feel like I'm using the oven so efficiently. With just Candleman and I at home, maybe one child, we always have leftover meatloaf for sandwiches the next day. Oh, yum!
BUT this post is not about meatloaf it's about soup, more specifically chili. Let me just say that I have some fabulous soup recipes and deciding which to share was hard. I wanted to go with my most recent discovery of Roasted Beet Soup because it is to die for, but I figured most people wouldn't even give it a try. I know I wouldn't have a couple years ago.
This chili recipe is my mom's. She is a darn good cook and always fed us yummy, well-balanced meals. That was something I took for granted when we were growing up but I surely do appreciate it now. I always thought she made the best chili around and I still think that. One day, after being married for several years, I asked her for her recipe. She told me she didn't have one. I pinned her down and said I wouldn't be able to even attempt making it without some kind of a recipe. I knew I could tweak it later, but I needed something to go on. Remember I was still young and somewhat inexperienced. She told me a recipe. She doesn't have the same recipe because she still makes it from memory - sometimes hers taste really good and sometimes it's a bit off, but mine turns out perfect every time because I follow the recipe. I always thank my lucky stars that the day she told me the recipe was for that best-ever chili!
2 pounds red or kidney beans
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 pounds ground beef, browned
1 chili brick
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 large onion, diced
1/2 bunch celery and leaves, sliced
1 quart diced tomatoes
2 quarts tomato juice
1 - 2 packages chili seasoning
1. Rinse beans; put in large soup pan. Cover with water to about 1 inch above the level of the beans. And the salt and oil. let soak overnight.
2. Bring the beans to a boil, reduce heat and continue cooking until beans are tender.
3. Add all other ingredients and simmer slowly for 2 hours. Taste and season with more salt and/or chili powder.