Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Quick and Easy Meal-Chili Bean Soup

Recently a friend asked for some quick, easy, INEXPENSIVE meal ideas. I thought I would share my ideas here on the blog. I’m sure she is not the only one that would like some fresh ideas.
First up is a slow-cooker meal that is perfect for cooler weather. Most of the ingredients can be bought at your local Aldi.

Chili Bean Soup

Serves 6 (I double or even triple this…of course, I love leftovers)
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 1 small onion, diced or 1 tbsp. dried onion flakes
  • 1 garlic clove, minced or 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 (14 1/2 oz.) can chicken broth
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel is one brand…but Aldi has its own brand)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pinto beans, drained
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper, to taste
Brown ground beef with onion and garlic, if you are using the fresh option—flakes or powder can be added later. Drain ground beef, if necessary. Combine browned ground beef and remaining ingredients in slow cooker. Cook on low for at least 6 hrs.
Serve this with cheese quesadillas. My family likes to top their soup with a little sour cream and shredded cheese. We also like our soup a little spicier. Therefore, add a 4 oz. can of green chilies and a little more chili powder and cayenne.
For those with a real time crunch in the a.m., you can brown your ground beef ahead of time and refrigerate until needed. You can even brown several pounds (especially when you find ground beef on sale) and freeze in appropriate portions to use when needed.
Bon Appétit!

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