Homemade Soup Contest

Runner Up in the
Homemade Soup Contest

***NOTE: Due to the acquisition of Instructables by AutoDesk, and Instructables' refusal to allow me to make private or unpublish any of my works, this instructable has been permanently deleted from this site around September 1, 2011. ***



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    The beauty about chili is that everyone has their own recipe...and their own opinions. Beans or no beans. Store bought chili powder or home made chili powder. Whatever. Eat what you like. Frankly, I applaud anyone who attempts to make their own. "Hormel" is not a kind of chili!

    By the way...my family always ate chili with a dollop of cottage cheese (instead of sour cream). Love it that way!

    This looks very nice and makes me feel hungry! Actually it reminds me of russian borsch  a little bit even though it's not spicy. 

    Three things, and I'm not a chef either:

    1) Chili short for "chili con carne" (peppers with meat) has no beans if it's really chili. If you're purest that is.

    2) I brown the meat before hand and then de-glaze the pan with dark beer. All that goodness left in the pan really helps the flavor, plus the flavor from the beer works well.

    3) I use semi-sweet chocolate chips rather than powder. I usually add those to the beer after I've de-glazing things, and before I add the other fluids.

    I also add some maple syrup, the real stuff not the imitation, which adds a hint of sweetness. It sounds odd I know, but try it and you'll be surprised. To be fair I have to give a nod to Bobby Flay for that, as it came from one of his recipes.

    I'm with you about the beans. In official chili contests you are not allowed to use beans or other "fillers". I am sure this is a great dish, but I don't know if I would call it chili.

    There are a lot of veggies in there as well. At what point does chili become beef stew?

    For comparison I am adding a picture of my chili.

    A lot of people are commenting that the dish does not look like it would be hot. If you are throwing 1 or 2 chopped habanero peppers in there it will have some kick.

    I bet this is great on a cold evening and is a lot more nutritious than most recipes I see!


    Speaking of maple syrup (sweeteners), I've thought about using molasses and less brown sugar, but that's never actually made it into the recipe yet. Future evolution of this recipe.

    I use molasses when I make chili. It's a lot cheaper than maple syrup and gives it a deeper flavor!

    But, I hate molasses in my chili. Others may also!

    Nice, I'm glad someone's out there that has actually done my idea, it doesn't seem so crazy now.

    Try raisins, the golden ones better than the black ones

    Interesting, I might have to do that. I have a whole bunch of raisins leftover from the summer. Thanks for the tip!