I love Panera Bread’s chili soup and I tried to make it as close to what theirs as possible. I really think this recipe is very, very close to theirs. Please try it, feel free to add more jalapeño peppers for more heat, I like mine mild so I only put 2. I top it with extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, a teaspoon of sour cream and some crackers.
~ 2 pounds of ground beef
~ 1 teaspoon of olive oil
~ 2 15.5 oz cans of pinto beans
~ 2 15.5 oz cans of small red kidney beans
~1 29 oz can of tomato sauce ( I like Cento or RedPack brand)
~ 1/4 cup of celery diced (is 1 stick)
~ 1/2 cup of diced jalapeño peppers (2 peppers, I used the ones already canned La Costeña brand )
~ 1 cup of red onion (1 medium onion)
~ 3 diced tomatoes (medium size tomatoes)
~ 2 cups of water
~ 3 tablespoons of chili powder
~ 2 teaspoons of cumin powder
~ 2 teaspoons of salt
~ 2 teaspoons of pepper (I freshly grind mine)
~ sour cream
~ extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese
Let the pot get hot before adding the olive oil, once is hot, add the olive oil and the ground beef. Get a fork and try as much as you can to break off the meat at medium heat, this way you won’t have large lumps in your soup. Once the meat has changed color, take it out of the pot and drain the oil that is left over. Return the meat to the pot and add the onions, celery and jalapeño peppers, stir a few seconds. Turn the heat from medium to low.
Add the tomato sauce, stir a few more seconds, then add all the beans with their own liquid plus the water. Stir. Finally, add all other ingredients and cover. Every 15 minutes come back and check it and stir the soup. The soup will be ready in 2 hours. Once is done, serve it with the cheddar cheese, finish it with sour cream and crackers….you will love it!
This dish is so nutritious, rich in protein from the beans, lycopene (antioxidant) from the tomatoes as well as the other veggies, yummmm!. Now, what I do with the left over soup is that I pack it in snack bags (once is cool) and freeze it. They can stay in the freezer for months! and is such an easy dinner for any day of the week. I hope you make it because I know you will enjoy it!