MY CHILI SOUPS

BEER CHILI MAC

BEER CHILI MAC

Onion, green pepper and celery sauteed with fresh garlic in hot chili oil, then simmered with tomatoes and kidney beans in a tomato sauce seasoned with sweet paprika, fennel and thyme. Flavored with beer and a touch of mustard. Topped with diced avocado!

Makes 6 servings

2 T. margarine

2 t. hot chili oil

3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 c. diced onion, 3/8 inch squares

1 lg. green pepper, diced into 3/8 inch squares

1 med. celery stalk, diced into 3/8 inch cubes

salt and pepper

15 oz. can diced tomatoes including liquid

15 oz. can kidney beans including liquid

10-3/4 oz. can tomato puree

2 T. mild paprika (I use sweet Hungarian)

2 t. ground fennel seed

2 t. prepared yellow mustard

1/4 t. dried thyme

3/4 c. mild beer

salt to taste

8 oz. dried elbow macaroni

1 Hass avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into 3/8-1/2 inch cubes

In large saucepan, over medium heat, melt margarine with chili oil.

Add garlic, onion, green pepper and celery. Stir well till coated with oil. Salt and pepper lightly, then saute for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

Add tomatoes, kidney beans and tomato puree. Stir well, then add paprika, fennel, mustard and thyme. Stir again.

Add beer. The beer will foam up somewhat; stir thoroughly till foam dissolves. Salt and pepper to taste, and cook on low heat for 45 minutes, stirring fairly often.

Cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and rinse quickly under cold water.

To serve: Spoon a small amount of macaroni in the bottom of each soup bowl. Ladle about 3/4-1 cup chili over macaroni, then top each with a few cubes of avocado.

Notes: Beer Chili Mac introduces a variation in flavor to traditional chili. We use no chili powder, but instead flavor it with chili oil, paprika and fennel. Beer brings all these together to create a sweet but spicy flavor achievement.

Select a mild beer, one that is not overly bitter nor overly yeasty. The cheaper beers work best.

Cook uncovered, unless chili becomes too thick, then cover. If kept on low enough heat this shouldn’t be necessary, but you be the judge.

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