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October 26, 2017

Chili Mac Soup with Hidden Secret Vegetables

No one loves a big bowl of hot chili on a autumn day more than me.  I feel like we don't actually have it more than a couple of times a year because, well, it is just not very healthy.  We don't eat healthy that often, but we do try to get a good balance.

What I like about chili is the spice, the warmth, the meatiness.  It is just so satisfying.  However, it is rather heavy.  I decided that I might try to lighten it up a bit, but keep all of the spicy, meatiness.

I started with a basic chili recipe, but added carrots (that I sautéed with the onion at the beginning) and shredded Brussels sprouts (at the end like you would do with cabbage in a vegetable soup).  The result was delicious.  It was so satisfying, but had more nutrition - which made me feel better about stocking our freezer with leftovers for lunch.  

Chili Soup with Hidden Secret Vegetables

1 medium onion, diced
4 carrots, diced
2 pounds of ground beef
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes, crushed
2 tablespoons ground cumin
28 oz. can of diced tomatoes with juice
2 cans of kidney beans
sea salt and cracked pepper
10-12 Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced
1/2 pound of small shell pasta
1/4 cup cream

In a large pot, saute the onion and carrot for about 8 to 10 minutes.  Add beef and brown.  Add chili powder, pepper flakes and cumin and saute for 1 minute.   Add tomatoes with their juice and beans. Reduce the heat, taste for seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper as needed.  Add the Brussels sprouts in and continue to simmer.  Before serving, bring to a rolling simmer and add pasta. Cook pasta for 5 minutes, then reduce heat before serving.  I don't like to add the pasta too far in advance before serving, or it can get mushy.  Add the cream to finish.

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