Smoky Chili Soup

Love in a bowl!

To say that this “soup” is hardy would be an understatement. There MUST be a lime wedge or three on the side of the bowl. The yogurt cheese, fresh green onion and fresh lime juice make all the difference with this dish.

And it must be served with a crusty loaf of homemade bread for dipping. Ciabatta would be the perfect choice (post to follow early next week). This is a bread that is complex, chewy, and can be par-baked, frozen and in 12 minutes from frozen, you have a freshly baked delicious bread to accompany your meal: in this case, your densely delicious smoky chili soup.

I have been reading a lot of chili posts lately, but the big chunks of steak and the lime wedges caught my eye on this one. Faith’s food always looks so good and I have been working at making big batches of food that can be frozen for quick delicious meals and this fit the bill. (I have already put away individual packages of cordon bleu, giant turkey pasta shells, sarma, dolmates , lots of chicken soup stock and several loaves of par-baked ciabatta.) Look at the chunks of tri-tip and chirozo and there is also bacon and ground beef: now that is a carnivore’s delight! The yogurt cheese balls just melt into the hot soup and with the lime and onion elevate this to a classy up-scale casual company meal. I like that!

The night I made it, it was very soupy and the broth was deadly delicious, but not at all your standard chili fare. The next day, the dish was more chili or stew like, but there was still plenty of sauce for dipping. I used a can of tomatillos and wished I had two cans. One more would have been nice, too. Fresh would be best. Faith use Tomatillo Salsa. The original recipe calls for smoked pork hocks which would have made the dish very smoky. I found this not the case made with out the pork, so added the Sweet Smoky Paprika (which I love) and you may even want to add more. It is not such a smoky chili. It is a subtle and complex dish that absolutely needs the three garnishes and then it is spectacular! This is a dish lickin’ bowl o’ yum.

The recipe is long, but don’t be discouraged. It is a very straight forward deal once you get your ingredients laid out. Thanks, Faith, for the inspiration!

Smoky Chili Soup (Inspired by Faye at An Edible Mosaic who was inspired by Cooking Light’s recipe for Smoky Slow Cooker Chili from the January 2009 issue)

Yield: 8 hardy servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 250g bacon lardons
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1.5 lb tri-tip, trimmed of fat and cubed into 1-inch pieces, seasoned and floured
  • 2 bottle Guiness
  • 2 medium-large onions, diced
  • 8 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoon Ancho chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Sweet Paprika (from Belgrade)
  • 2 tablespoons Smoked Spanish Paprika
  • 1 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes (with juices)
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatillos
  • 28 oz water
  • 2 medium green peppers, diced
  • 1 Anaheim pepper, minced
  • 30 oz Barlotti beans, reconstituted and prepared for use
  • Homemade yogurt or yogurt cheese, for garnish
  • Fresh scallions, thinly sliced (for garnish)
  • Fresh lime wedges (to squeeze on top which makes the chili sparkle!)


  1. In a 5-quart pot with a lid, heat oil over medium-high heat; add the lardons  and sautéuntil crispy (about 5 minutes)
  2. Use a slotted spoon to remove; set aside
  3. To the same pot, add ground beef; cook until browned
  4. Use a slotted spoon to remove; add seasoned and floured beef cubes: brown all sides (about 2 minutes per side)
  5. De-glaze pan with two bottles of Guinness, gently scraping the bottom of the pan until all flavour bits are freed from the bottom of the pot; reduce to half and then add to meat mixture
  6. Add a bit more oil to the pan, sautéonions until translucent (about 5 minutes); add garlic stirring for 30 seconds, then add the chili powder, both paprikas, cumin seeds, oregano, and pepper toasting all for about one minute, or until fragrant
  7. Add the bay leaves, the sugar, tomato paste, and Worcestershire sauce; stir
  8. Add meat mixture back to the pot; stir to combine and add diced tomatoes, tomatillos and water
  9. Bring up to a boil, cover the pot, turn heat down, and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally
  10. Add green peppers, cover the pot; cook another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally
  11. Add beans during the last 5 minutes of cooking; Taste and season with salt and pepper
  12. Serve garnished with yogurt, thinly sliced scallions, and lime wedges to squeeze on top with a crusty artisan bread on the side

Take a look at Valerie’s version, from The Chocolate Bunny! She was inspired by my version and I was inspired by Faith’s version. I love this hobby of mine!

Holy Cow! No need to ask “Where’s the Beef?” I can hardly lift my spoon or fork! (There better not be any little  Beavers in here!)

Subscribe to A Canadian Foodie so you don’t miss a post! (top right)

Register for Christan Miller’s Apple Pie Making 101 Class (only 2 spaces left!), February 5th, 2011 at 8:30am

Register for Allan Suddaby’s Sausage Making Class February 12th in the evening: a really fun friend or partner’s night out! VALENITNE’S Saturday!

Register for: Kevin Kossowan’s Big Game Tasting and Cooking Demonstration Lunch February 26, 2011 at 11am

Register for:BénéGamier’s French Tart Class: Sweet and Savoury SUNDAY, March 6, 2011 at 8:30 am

Watch for Culinary Tour and Trips in June to Niagara on the Lakes Wine Country and in September to Paris!

My first class was last Saturday and I had a great time with the wonderful gals that attended. I learned that I need clean up help, even with only six students! I will invite them to leave feedback about the class for you to read, soon. (We went over time… woops!)


  1. says

    This looks like a wonderful recipe. The photos have my mouth watering! I wonder if regular beer or even wine would work since I don’t care for Guiness? This was certainly a ‘chili week’ in blogland 😉

    • Valerie says

      The original recipe calls for a lager and I used Guiness. We don’t like it either, but it is great in cooking! Wine wouldn’t work, but a good beef stock could easily take the place of the Guiness.

  2. says

    I saw this recipe on Faith’s page and immediantely bookmarked it to try with chicken or turkey. Absolutely stunning texture and the caramalized look of the chilli.I love the cute teddy bear picture.

  3. says

    I saw Faith’s take on this recipe too & made a mental note to play around with it like this. Love your version, a very meaty affair but so, so comforting on a cold old day. Cute pic of the the beaver :)

  4. says

    hi Valerie,

    yes, i remember seeing this post on Faith’s blog. i also remember thinking that Gary and my Dad would absolutely love this as it truly is a “carnivore’s delight” in a bowl. Vanja is a lucky lucky man! you’ve made this look so tasty even for someone who eats as little meat as me. oh and your bread, your beautiful bread. what a perfect side to go with this lovely chili. i’m sure you’ve made Faith very the way, did you ever get my bread email? the bread you taught us was fantastic. we all loved it, especially the kiddies, but they picked off the rosemary..haha. i’ll be telling you more on how much we loved everything when you have your post up. that dough was amazing! nuf said 😉

    take good care my dear. get lots of rest! big hugs!!!!!!

    • Valerie says

      There will be no post of the first cooking class. The pics did not turn out at all. I had the tri-pod out, recall? I should have used it. They were all shaky and blurry. What a disappointment. I will e-mail you shortly with a link for comment feedback for future clients to refer to, as well.
      I am SO glad you liked the bread! I love it, too – and the rusticness of it. Just place it on a big wooden slab and rip off pieces to eat. I have that post almost ready to go, too.
      Much love,

  5. says

    Thank you so much for your kind words, Valerie, they really mean a lot to me. I’m so glad you enjoyed this dish!! Your version looks fantasic, especially with the addition of smoked paprika…I’m definitely going to remember that for the next time I make it! Gorgeous pics too, I love the one of the cute little beaver digging in. :)

    • Valerie says

      Your site is a labour of love. It is inspiring and full of really delicious, nutritious food and your warm personality is a pleasure to visit every time I stop by there. Thank YOU!
      Deep bow.

  6. says

    Wow, that looks truly fabulous, a real dish to get stuck into! I see Beavie is doing just that! I love Faith’s blog too, she has so many good recipes, and her photos are fantastic. I have a few of her items bookmarked.
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead.
    *kisses* HH

  7. says

    This looks amazingly comforting! I’m bookmarking this recipe, for sure!

    Oh, and re: your question about my last post on the entremets dessert Daring Bakers’ challenge: you can always find the challenge recipes on the Daring Kitchen’s website, which I always link to in my challenge write-ups. I don’t cut-and-paste the instructions because they’re quite long, and it’s a little redundant for readers going through the DB blogroll.

    • Valerie says

      Thanks, Valerie!
      That makes sense. I did watch the video and look at the PDF, but didn’t see the lengthy discussions and I am not a daring baker – so I will go back and check out your links

  8. says

    Lordy! That’s stew, not soup! So thick and dark in color. How fabulous. And perfect football fare. I use Faith’s recipes a lot…she is inventive, informative and fun. You made some super adaptations, Valerie.

  9. says

    Yep, that looks like love in a bowl to this man. I’d guess though that anything with yogurt cheese balls added to it will rock, so that’s kinda cheating, no? 😉

  10. says

    Sounds like an amazing recipe. Yay, I have a new chili to make. It’s been a while since I’ve seen one worth trying. Hello yogurt cheese ball. Hello. :)

  11. says

    This looks unbelievable, Valerie. I love that color and richness. If one can call a soup or stew beautiful, then this is ‘beautiful’! I would probably break my diet to have a bowl;) Ooh, and that loaf looks so authentic and rustic too-love that!
    p.s. Your blog looks awesome. I can’t quite figure out what is different, but I know it is. Looks really professional and engaging:)

    • Valerie says

      You are the first to mention any changes on my site! They are very subtle and the biggest difference is the increased “real estate” so my photos can be much bigger…. which enables a more engaging read! I moved the columns, too, but that is about it. I am not getting notifications for your new posts – and went in again just now – and Feedburner said: you are already registered. Then I said “I know! But you are not sending me Stella’s new posts!” And Feedburner said: you are already registered. I almost said “I heard you the first time!” I am quite frustrated with this.. but, I have put you on my list to check on.
      Big hug!

  12. says

    I am glad your class went well, yes clean up would be helpful..a perfect ..ancho chili powder, two paparikas, cumin, oreganao and tomatillos..all my fav flavors, great recipe!


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