Family-Style Chili

yellow bowl of chili
Family-Style Chili

1 pound lean, coarse ground beef
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small rib celery, chopped
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste)
1 tsp dried onion flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
1 14.5 oz. can beef broth
1 14.5 oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 small can (4.5 oz.) green chilis
1 14.5 oz. can beans (kidney)
salt and pepper to taste
3 Tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro

1. Cook ground beef loosely in skillet until browned. Pour off excess fat if there is any. While the ground beef is cooking, Heat your chili pot or soup kettle over medium high heat, add olive oil, and saute’ the chopped onion and celery, adding the garlic last.

2. Simmer, then add cumin, paprika, chili powder, onion flakes and dried oregano. Add beef broth, stewed tomatoes, green chilis and half the can of beans (reserve the other half to mash and add later).
3. Add ground beef and simmer 20 minutes. Then add the smashed 2nd half of the can of beans. Simmer another 30-40 minutes. . (can be cooked in a slow-cooker).

4. Add the chopped cilantro about 10 minutes before serving to keep the flavor fresh. Makes 6 cups.


Bean Soup Tuscan-Style

blue bowl of bean soup
Bean Soup Tuscan-Style


2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. onion, chopped
1/3 c. carrots, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 quart of chicken broth
2 cups water
2 (15 oz.) cans white beans (Great Northern, navy, or cannellini)
2 dry bay leaves
1 tsp dried oregano
4 cups finely chopped kale
½ tsp black pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (to garnish individual bowls when serving)

In a medium soup pot, simmer ham bone in the chicken broth and water for 30-minutes or until meat is falling off bone. Remove bone and pick off meat, adding that back to the liquid in pot.

While the ham bone is simmering, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onions, carrots, celery and tomato and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly about 1 minute. Set aside until broth is ready.

Add the onion, carrot and celery mixture to the soup pot. Then add beans and their liquid, oregano, and bay leaves. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a bare simmer, add kale, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Discard the bay leaves. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with a grating of Parmesan cheese, and serve with crusty bread.