Eating Local: Summer Chili

It was a surprisingly moist summer in my neck of the woods. We had rain at least once a week, and a few dreary days. Thankfully, we've had a few scorchers too, and they were around just long enough to ripen my tomatoes & bell peppers. Today is one of those dreary days, and that means chili!

Ingredients: - 2 pounds of home-ground beef - 4 small red bell peppers, or 2 large, diced - 1 large red onion, diced - 4 cloves of garlic, pulverized - 2-4 jalapeños, sliced - 4 pounds of tomatoes, juices into the pot & diced - 1 cup of chicken stock - 1 tbsp ground cumin (not local) - 16 oz of cooked pinto or cranberry beans (not local) - olive oil (not local) - garnish w/ sour cream, cheese, cilantro, pickled banana peppers & diced raw onion

Method: - brown the beef in a large dutch oven or soup pot, and then reserve in a heat-safe bowl - add extra olive oil if needed and sauté vegetables (minus the jalapeños & tomatoes) until soft, add some salt - when a fond (brown bits) forms, add the tomatoes and their juices. Deglaze the pan, then season with salt & add the beef back into the pot. - add the stock, cumin & jalapeños, and bring to a simmer - cook on low for an 30 mins or so, and either: 1. Cool, add beans and store in the fridge over night (my preferred method) or 2. Add in the beans and cook until they are warmed through, 10 mins. Then garnish & serve. - if you are popping it in the fridge, just reheat it slowly over low/medium heat the following day.

Utilizing summer's bounty of sweet peppers and ripe tomatoes as well as punchy garlic & red onions makes for a delicious and easy summer supper. My little guy loves this with chips or a quesadilla. What do you serve with your chili?

Check out some of my other chili recipes: Turkey Poblano Chili Winter Beef Chili

And check out what the other SOLE Challenge members are cooking & growing. It's been a great year to cook, grow & eat local!