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...
Serve with cheese bread, crackers, peanut butter?
Remember something warm and fuzzy from childhood
Whimsy and Hugs!