I am a really big fan of Chilli Con Carne. I love that it can be simply eaten in a bowl with a good grating of cheese or it can be transformed into something more elaborate served with guacamole, salsa and sour cream. That’s why I thought the idea of a spicy Chilli Con Carne soup rich with aromatic flavours would be a really good one.
I’ve been adding cocoa powder to my Chilli’s for a few year’s now after first seeing a recipe for Mexican Mole (a rich sauce made with chocolate served with meat) and the depth of flavour it adds is just incredible. The first time I added it I was really worried about the outcome but now I can’t make Chilli Con Carne without it. I love how it adds great colour to the dish as well.
Another ingredient I’m not selfish with when I make Chilli is various spices. Ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves are all used to add a subtle warmth and flavour.
This soup is best served with a generous dollop of sour cream, some chunky guacamole and grated cheese. You could of course serve good, crusty bread with it but I made super cheesy, spring onion (scallion) and cheddar quesidillas. It would also be lovely with good quality corn chips. And don’t forget a shot of Tequila to warm you before you tuck in!
500g lean beef mince (ground beef)
2 onions, finely chopped
3 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
2 red peppers, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp each ground coriander and cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp each ground nutmeg and cloves
finely chopped chilli to taste
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
2 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tsp sugar
1.5l chicken/beef stock
1-2 tins kidney beans (depending on how much beans you’d like to add)
salt & pepper to taste
- In a large pot, brown the beef mince. Set aside.
- In the same pot, fry the onion, carrots, celery and red pepper until soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic and the spices and fry for another 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes, cocoa powder and sugar and stir to combine.
- Add the beef mince back to the pot and pour in the stock.
- Cover with the lid, add the beans and allow to simmer gently for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid after 30 minutes and increase the temperature. Allow to reduce for 15 minutes.
- Serve with grated cheese, sour cream, chunky guacamole and extra chillies.