Nothing warms you up on a chilly fall day quite like a comforting soup or stew. Had a bad day? Soup. Need soothing that extends into the soul? Stew at your service.
So whether you’d prefer to stay close to home with some American classics like chili con carne or allow your palate to travel abroad (through your bowl, anyway) with some international favorites like ramen or pozole, here are a few recipes that are sure to lead to some very satisfying slurps.
Bonus: the chili and pozole recipes freeze well in zip-top bags and can be reheated during those draining winter days when you don’t feel like cooking.
Chili Con Carne
2 pounds lean ground beef
2 pounds chuck, cut into 1/2- to 1-inch cubes
2 yellow onions, finely chopped
4 jalapenos, de-seeded and finely chopped
2 heads garlic, finely chopped
4 roasted poblano peppers, charred skin and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
3 red bell peppers, seeds removed and coarsely chopped
1 stick salted butter
1 16-ounce beer (amber, brown, or IPA)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 15.5-ounce cans pinto beans
1 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans
3 tablespoons salt (measure it out and sprinkle some in at each step of cooking)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Begin by melting butter in a large Dutch Oven that holds about 6 quarts. Add the chopped onions, chopped garlic, and chopped jalapenos. Add a bit of salt and continue to cook until the onions are translucent (about 10 minutes). Add the chopped red peppers and chopped roasted poblanos and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Add the ground beef and chuck, salt, and continue to stir. Add the crushed tomatoes, beer, chili powder, cumin, coriander, paprika, and remaining salt. Cook the mixture together for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, on low heat so that the cubed beef can cook slowly in the broth. Add the drained beans. Mix everything together, cooking for at least an additional 20-30 minutes on low heat. The longer the cubed chuck cooks, the more tender it will be. Additionally, it will continue to thicken as the heat reduces the water from the chili.
Garnish with sour cream, Fritos, grated cheese, or other toppings of choice.
Miso Mushroom Ramen
32 ounces vegetable broth
1/4 cup soy
1/4 cup mirin
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 yellow onion
1 large piece ginger (about 4 inches)
4 garlic cloves
1 red chili
10 ounces shiitake mushrooms
2 soft boiled eggs, halved
1/3 cup miso paste
2 baby bok choy
3 tablespoons chili oil
2 tablespoons sesame oil
ramen noodles of choice
Slice the onions and shallots into medallions about 1/2- to 1-inch thick. Cut the ginger, red chili, and garlic in half, length-wise, so that they can lay flat. Add all of these ingredients to a cooking sheet, sprinkle with salt, and broil for 6-8 minutes or until they start to brown. On a stovetop, pour broth into a large pot. Add the previously broiled ingredients into the broth along with mushrooms and allow these ingredients to cook together. Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and mirin to the broth. Allow these ingredients to cook together for 20-30 minutes.
Using a large slotted spoon, scoop everything out and transfer it to a bowl, leaving only the broth behind. Add the miso to the broth and stir until it is well incorporated. When the broth ingredients have cooled, pick out the shiitake mushrooms, setting them aside, and discard everything else.
In a large pan, begin heating the chili and sesame oil. Cut bok choy in half lengthwise and salt it to taste. Place it flat– (center cut) side down in the hot oiled pan and allow it to char for about 6-8 minutes. Flip the bok choy and add mushrooms to the pan to add a quick caramelization to them as well. After 3-4 minutes remove from heat. While the bok choy is searing, cook noodles according to the serving size and instructions on the package, drain, and set aside.
You are now ready to put it all together. Divide the broth into 4 bowls. Follow with the noodles, halved bok choy, halved soft boiled eggs, mushrooms, shredded carrots, green onions, cilantro, and extra chilis if desired.
Chicken Pozole Rojo
1 small whole chicken
1 yellow onion, skin removed and quartered
3 large carrots, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
3 celery stalks, cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
8 dried guajillo peppers (toast in a pan for 3-5 minutes)
2 dried ancho peppers (toast in a pan for 3-5 minutes)
10-12 cloves/1 head of garlic, coarsely chopped
4 bay leaves
6-8 cups water
3-4 tablespoons salt
15.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
10 (or more) limes
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
30-ounce can white hominy/pozole
In a large Dutch Oven, place the whole chicken, carrots, celery, onions, toasted peppers, garlic, bay leaves, salt, and water and give it a good stir, making sure everything is mostly submerged. Cover and place it into the oven at 325 degrees for 3 hours. Carefully remove the chicken. It should be so tender that it falls apart when removed. Remove the meat and shred it (discarding the skin and the bones) when it is cool enough for you to do so. Using a slotted spoon, scoop up all of the ingredients used to flavor the broth. Transfer the peppers (stems pulled), onions, and garlic into a blender. Discard the celery and the carrots. After the onions, garlic, and chilis have been transferred to the blender, also add your canned tomatoes, Mexican oregano, chili powder, cumin, and coriander. Blend until smooth. Add this mixture into broth and carefully return your Dutch Oven to the stovetop on low to medium heat. Add shredded chicken, drained hominy, and the juice of all of the limes into the broth. Cook together for 20-30 minutes so that all of the flavors are well incorporated.
Serve with more lime, shredded cabbage, avocado, cilantro, and radish.