Quick Recipes and Easy

Too-Simple Chili Verde Soup

5 lbs medium lean ground beef (20-25 percent stout – you want some but not a lot)
8 14-ounce cans beef broth
2 medium onions – sliced (not thin slices, huge hearty slices)
1 lb. carrots – cut into chunks
1 bunch cilantro – diced – set some aside for garnishing
1 bunch green onions – diced – set some aside for garnishing
1 large package menudo seasoning
2 cups au jus (I make this from a powder mix)
3 tbsp. crushed garlic
1 tsp. black pepper
1 large can chopped green chilis – or get whole canned green chilis, strips seeds, chop into 1/4″ chunks
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
Corn tortillas
Salsa – I prefer mild or medium to serve as the side dish to this.

This works well in a huge dutch oven. I use my largest cast iron pot.
Saute onions in the oil to caramel color.
Toss in the carrots and simmer a moment.
Add chilis, cilantro, green onions, menudo seasoning, pepper, garlic. Stir briefly.
Add beef broth and au jus. At this point, things should be thin, soupy and somewhat watery. If not, add water until it is.
Crank up the heat and get it to boiling, then turn down heat.
Cover and simmer until the carrots are knife-tender.

Now comes the fun part:
Once the carrots are knife-tender, it’s time to get your hands all gloppy.
Pinch off chunks of the ground beef and drop them on top of the broth, forming a thick layer. Do not stir this in!
Crank up the heat and get it boiling again, cover and let boil for 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let it stand covered for 15 minutes. Take off the lid and ladle off nearly all the grease.
Break the meat into manageable chunks and stir gently.

Slip a few corn tortillas under the broiler for just enough time to brown SLIGHTLY.

Serve garnished with cilantro and green onion, charbroiled corn tortillas and side dishes of chilled salsa.

Casey grew up cooking for a crowd, and occasionally comments that she can cook nearly anything for eleven people. Her time is divided between her ‘full-time job’ as game developer and module designer for the online roleplaying game, Legends of Karinth, her graphics and website design services, and three e-commerce ventures – myferngarden.com Lewis & Clarke’s Nature To Go, cafepress.com/ferngarden Celtic Elegance and cafepress.com/karinth Karinthian Dragon Hoards.

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