Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Easy chili

When Reggie and I were first married, I did a lot of experimenting with my cooking. I tried a lot of easy recipes, too.

One of those easy recipes came from a Campbell’s Soup cookbook that I received here at work as the food editor. The recipe offered variations on a chili or soup, where you chose which type of meat, canned soup and vegetables to put in your pot.

I have probably shared this recipe at some point over my years writing this column, although I couldn’t find it in our archives, but I wanted to publish it again because it is so quick and easy and perfect for a cold night.

The thing I like best about this recipe, however, is that all four of us like it! I can’t say that about many things I cook.

Anyway, this chili starts with a pound of ground beef browned with an onion. Mix in two cans of tomato soup, a can of mixed vegetables and some seasoning, and you’re done, except for the simmering.

Here’s the part that appeals to my kids (and their parents) and makes it so special: You top the chili with Cheddar cheese, which melts and forms the perfect complement to the tomato soup-based chili, and you eat it with corn chips! In fact, we sometimes forgo the spoon and just eat with the Fritos Scoops.

I made this chili many times in the early years of our marriage and then forgot about it for maybe 10 years. I started making it again a few years ago, and I have already made it twice this fall. I think it’s fair to say this recipe has withstood the test of time in my family.

Campbell's Chili Soup
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 cans (10 ozs. each) condensed tomato soup (not reduced-sodium/reduced-fat)
  • 1 can (about 15 ozs.) mixed vegetables (do not drain)
  • Chili powder to taste (I only use about 1/8 teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Fritos and Tostitos
In Dutch oven or large skillet, brown beef with onion until done. Drain fat and rinse. Stir in soup, vegetables with liquid, chili powder and vinegar. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 20 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into bowls. While chili soup is hot, sprinkle with cheese. Serve with corn chips or tortilla chips.

Adapted from Campbell's

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