Friday, April 4, 2014

Sweet Chili Morning...

A "Chili" April morning...  Nothing seems more appropriate today than a pot of Sweet Chili Soup, an age-old recipe handed down from my grandmother. I realize all kinds of chili are amazing, and I have a a Goalpost Chili recipe I really love for parties and holidays.  But for a morning such as this, Mom and I enjoy her mother's version, a much thinner, sweeter soup. I suspect the origins fell through the cracks of the Great Depression because this soup takes only two cans of beans, one pound of ground beef, and the rest vegetables,  juice, and even three cups of water...  Oh, and brown sugar...  Holy cow!

I have tweaked it a little, adding ingredients and increasing the hamburger... I add a signature skillet of chopped onion and celery, browned and cooked to a gossamery translucence...

I eat mine with peanut butter between saltines, dropped right in the soup... No doubt a shout-out to the years of school lunch menus with peanut butter sandwiches and chili. And I also invoke my sweet daddy's practice of a couple tablespoons of sweet pickle vinegar stirred right into the soup. I realize this sounds down right odd, if not awful to some of you, but...


Some might say they miss the beans. I agree... I think a person could add more or less of anything!  It's a thinner soup, best enjoyed with a side memory of my gramma's cheerful, pink kitchen...... White sheer cottage curtains starched and charmed, dark red linoleum, pink enamel cabinets... And most important of all, a little, five-foot-nothing personification of fierce gramma love. Mom and Daddy laughing, Paw-paw and my dad just coming in from an afternoon at the barn... Rosy filled faces and happy hearts....

Aw... I bet I could just heat up a "bucket of saltwater" and conjure up that memory... And that "saline and H20" would be the perfect cold morning soup...
______________________

Sweet Chili Soup

1 1/2 pounds ground beef, browned, crumbled, drained ( if needed)
1 large can tomato juice
2 cans crushed tomatoes.
                (If you have whole, just squeeze and smush in a fist.... My Mom and a Gramma used
                  home cold-packed tomatoes...  Moment of silence, please for that kind of tomato.)
3 c. Water
2 medium cans chili beans
One whole onion and two ribs celery, (chopped small, browned and translucent-simmered in
            either  the pan drippings or a drizzle of olive oil. I prefer the olive oil)
2 T. Chili powder
1/4 c. Ketchup ( one long, good squeeze)
1 heaping T. Beef soup base, or a little beef bouillon.  Watch out for saltiness!
(Look away, avert your eyes... ) 1/2 c. Brown or white sugar.  More than that maybe...
Salt, pepper to taste.... In fact,
Adjust all seasonings to taste...

Simmer... simmer
Dip, dip....
Serve with cheese bread, crackers, peanut butter?
Remember something warm and fuzzy from childhood

Whimsy and Hugs!

8 comments:

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

Sweet! You had me, with that!!!

wendy said...

Isn't it funny how some foods can take us right back to our childhood? One for me that others probably find odd is Macaroni and Tomatoes soup( my go to comfort soup.) always makes me think of my Mom. Hugs and the Chili sounds great!

Julie Robertson Franklin said...

Love this....& you

NanaDiana said...

I bet my hubby would love this! I love those old memory making family recipes! xo Diana

Debbie said...

A sweet recipe that brings back sweet memories....priceless.
xo

bj said...

I swear, sweet one...reading your postS is like picking up a good book and reading a little bit of it. Ever considered writing a novel?
I think this recipe, along with your words, is going into my recipe box...
Xoxo,bj

Tessa~ Here there be musing said...

April 9th

Cute new Background.

Mmmmmmm, the Sweet Chili is still calling me. I'll have to encourage him, to make some. :-)))))

Dee D said...

I love chili, but I've always had it when I was out. For some reason, I never made it for myself, so thanks for sharing your recipe. Also, I loved the cat at the end. Have a great day.