It’s late October, and it’s starting to feel like winter is around the corner, for better or for worse. I actually look forward to this time of year, for three reasons: (1) skiing; (2) sweaters, and (3) soup. To kick off the cold-weather season, I decided to cook up a pot of spicy fire chili, made with a few varieties of fresh hot peppers. This is an old standby comfort-food recipe for me, and (like most recipes) it can be modified easily according to your taste. For this batch, I decided to use ground turkey, but you could very easily do this same recipe as a vegetarian, beef, or chicken chili.
Another way to easily modify the recipe is mixing up the peppers to suit your spiciness tolerance. My jalapeno tree is cranking out ridiculously hot ripe red peppers right now, so I used a few of those. My brother grew a huge batch of habanero peppers, so I used one of those as well. He also sent me some ghost peppers and scottish bonnets, but I wanted this chili to actually be edible so I reserved those for another use (actually, a hot sauce, which I made last weekend and is absurdly good — recipe to come upon request).
Garnish with cilantro and cheese, and serve with your choice of tortilla chips, tortillas, crusty bread, or (my favorite) grilled cheese sandwiches. This is also great on top of Spanish rice or yellow rice.
An assortment of 5-10 hot peppers of your choice (jalapenos, habaneros, ancho, poblano, arbol)
A red and a green bell pepper
1 large yellow onion
1 whole head of garlic
3 cans of tomatoes (my favorite combo is 2 cans of diced and 1 can of crushed)
1 can corn (or use fresh)
1 can black beans
1 quart chicken stock
1 lb lean ground turkey or beef
Spices (a tablespoon of chili powder and cumin, a teaspoon of cayenne pepper and garlic powder, and a dash of cinnamon)
1 tablespoon white sugar
salt and pepper
shredded cheddar cheese
Chop the hot peppers, bell peppers, onion and garlic, and saute in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. Add salt to help the vegetables break down.
When vegetables are soft and sweet, push them over to one side of the pot and add the ground turkey or beef. Break up the meat with a mixing spoon, and cook through.
Once the meat is cooked, add all of the tomatoes, the spices, the salt, the pepper, and the chicken stock. Cook for at least 45 minutes to an hour, allowing the flavors to combine.
Once the tomatoes are cooked, add the cans of corn and black beans (drained and rinsed first). Cook for another 15-20 minutes.
To reach your desired consistency, you can either leave the top off (so liquid boils off and creates a thicker stew), or put the top on (for a thinner broth).
Garnish with cilantro and shredded cheese, and serve with your choice of tortillas, tortilla chips, or grilled cheese sandwiches. The soup is also great served over Spanish rice or yellow rice. Enjoy!