Chili Tortilla Soup

I’ve reinvented and rebranded a recipe of my mother.


What my mother made and called Chili when I was growing up was one of, if not THE, favorite dish of mine. It took me years, though, to learn that it wasn’t really chili by anyone else’s standards. For one thing, only people in Hawaii eat Chili with their rice. Second, what my mother made for chili is very soup-like in consistency.
When I started cooking on my own, I began to tinker and experiment with Mom’s old recipe, and I do so with enthusiasm. Various kinds of beans, canned tomatoes and meats have gone into iterations of chili.
Not all of those iterations of chili have been successful. An experiment with stew meat turned out poorly. An attempt to make chili at TBR resulted in it being a little too unpalatable for most tastes.
But Chili, Jvstin Style, is still my signature dish.
Recently, though, as these things happen, I got a craving for my mother’s chili, inauthenticity and all. But I decided to reinvent it for the 21st century. Also, I couldn’t mentally call it chili anymore. And then I remembered there is a mexican dish called Tortilla soup…and so Chili Tortilla soup was born.
I had to modify the recipe in mid-creation since it was too thin and tomato-flavored.
It makes quite a bit. It completely filled my 5 qt crockpot. Be warned. It does make great leftovers, though.
2 lbs Ground Beef
2 15 oz cans kidney beans
1 12 oz can Mexicorn
16 oz. Beef Broth
3 11.5 oz cans Tomato Soup
1 tbsp crushed Roasted Garlic
16 oz. jar picante sauce
2 tbsp Hot Sauce (or to taste)
Tortillas
Shredded cheese (flavor as preferred)
Seasonings to taste
In a pot with some oil, add the Roasted Garlic and cook for a couple of minutes to release the essential oils and flavor of the garlic into the oil
Add the ground beef, and seasonings and cook over medium heat until browned.
Transfer ground beef to a crockpot and add the beans, soup, broth, hot sauce, and picante sauce. Combine well and cook on low for 5-8 hours.
Cut or strip tortillas into 1 inch strips and line the bottom of a bowl. Pour the soup over it, and top with cheese and serve.