Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Comfort Food: Mexican Winter Chili

Believe it or not, my December soup series is still ongoing. I have actually made LOTS of soup. I've also taken LOTS of naps. We had a taste of spring, and to be honest, I wasn't ready for it. The dirty gray yard begged to be worked on, but I've lost my moxie. I just prayed that my apricots wouldn't start blooming only to be denied their delicious fruit with a late storm. But then it happened...

...winter came back and cleaned everything up then took away my yard guilt. So to celebrate, let's make some Mexican Winter Chili!

This recipe was torn out of BH&G and was a "prize-tested recipe" from some genius named Debi Carnott. I ripped it out several years ago, because honestly, who doesn't want to try a soup with cocoa powder, cinnamon, AND pumpkin in it. Here's the ingredient list:


1 lb. pork stew meat
2 TBL olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium fresh poblano pepper, finely chopped
(I could NOT find this pepper. I used 1 jalapeno peppers instead, and made sure to de-seed it.)
1 large red sweet pepper, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
DASH cayenne pepper
1 14-oz can chicken broth
1 15-oz can pumpkin
1/4 cup whipping cream
GARNISH (optional) Fresh cilantro

1) Use a big saucepan or stove-top friendly dutch oven. Heat up oil over medium high
heat and cook pork for 5 minutes (or until browned). Here you see other chopped stuff with it..peppers and onion (cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until veggies are tender). Now you see all of this goodness coated with our fun spices: cocoa, cumin, garlic powder, cinnamon, and cayenne.

2) This picture shows the added broth PLUS 1/2 cup water. Notice how dark and delicious it looks? Bring this to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until pork is tender.

The last thing you do is add the pumpkin, cream, as well as salt and pepper to taste. Return to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Now here's the end result in The Mister's bowl. The pumpkin makes it thick, but do not fear.

The cilantro garnish was denied, but I think it would have made for a much prettier picture with a dash of bright green. I was excited and nervous to try it.

As for me? I thought it was great. It packed some heat with the cayenne and jalapeno, more than I was expecting. Don't get me wrong, it was GOOD, but the heat left me apologizing when I served it to friends. So if you like more mild dishes, then try it minus the cayenne and with half a jalapeno (de-seeded).

By the way, everyone who tried it (with apologies for heat) actually loved it. So go boldly forth I say!

The Mister of the House? Let's just say he LOVED IT and had a happy face after eating it.

For a key to reading The Mister's emotions, click here.
p.s. it really is his happy face by the way.

That's all for now. Riva Derci!

Wait...that's not right. Buenos comer el soupe! Adios!


Wade and Marilyn said...

It really does look like good soup. Now find me a recipe for tomato bisque soup.

Holly said...

I was lucky enough to taste this soup, and I vouch for its deliciousness! Thanks, Amber!!

Monica said...

Please come to my house and be my personal chef...you know, in your spare time. Can't wait to try it!

Anonymous said...

It looks fabulous. I am still loving the creamy carrot curry soup. There is some in my fridge as we speak.