Mexican Chilli con Carne soup with minced beef and mushrooms - ready for winter


This authentic and very healthy Mexican Chilli con Carne recipe works as a traditional chunky chilli served with rice. Or if you want to enjoy it as a hearty soup, just add a bit more water and serve with a crusty roll. Delicious either way!

There is definitely a whiff of winter in the air. I wore an angora dress and boots to work this week. On the way to work I noticed a big hole in the front of the skirt created by the moths (at least I think it was the moths, but evidence is purely circumstantial)  we've had in our house which now seem to have disappeared together with the hand-knotted Persian rug that had made such a lovely home and breeding ground for them. Cold-heartedly replaced by a hostile synthetic IKEA rug. Thank you IKEA, unfortunately too late to save my dress.

Minced beef Chilli con Carne with mushrooms

Apart from the hole in the dress, I was very elegant and seasonally appropriate.

And to replace the moths we now have weevils, those minuscule beetley buggers who live in cereal and flour. Never a pest-free moment in our household.

Apparently weevils are ok to eat when cooked. Just saying to any future dinner guests who might be concerned. S'ok.

This minced beef and mushroom chilli soup is a lovely easy winter weeknight recipe, and it's healthy. We had a bit of a break from our healthy lifestyle this weekend. We had dinner on Saturday with friends in a Persian restaurant, which was not hugely unhealthy, but it was followed by about ninety-five cocktails in our favourite Italian bar. We discovered the wonderful Spritz Aperol drink in Venice and after spotting the bottle on the shelf in the bar we ordered a few of those. It's basically booze and prosecco which is brilliant and it comes with a slice of orange for added vitamin C. And we did have some Jack Daniels just to add some rock'n'roll into the proceedings, if I remember correctly.

On Sunday we didn't move from the sofas and had a takeaway. I even ate some sweets, which I almost never do, but I found this tub of Finnish salty licorice and had a couple of handfulls until blood pressure was about 190 over 130. I still wasn't quite right on Monday and had a chocolate biscuit at work, which is very uncharacteristic for me. I must have been still hungover to engage in that sort of craziness!

But apart from these occasional weekend lapses we have been very good. Husband has stayed away from naughty snacks and I haven't bought or baked him any biscuits or cakes for weeks. Yesterday, because he has been so very good, I brought him an enormous cinnamon bun from the Nordic Bakery in town. I haven't seen him as happy for a long time. For a moment I though he was going to burst into tears. But so sensible has he become that he ate half of it leaving half for later so as not to elevate his glucose levels too much. What a good boy!

Ground beef Chilli con Carne  with mushrooms

Hearty and healthy minced beef and mushroom chilli soup

Rapeseed oil
1 brown onion
1-2 celery stalks
2 small carrots
1 red bell pepper
2 cloves of garlic
250g low fat minced beef
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or fresh chillies and/or tabasco if you like it hot)
2 tsp dried oregano
Black pepper
150g mushrooms
400g can of tomatoes
Beef stock cube / pot
400g can of beans (black beans or red kidney beans or I had rosecoco)
Salt if needed
Fresh coriander for garnish (optional)

Add a splash of oil in a large non-stick pan or dutch oven. While the oil is heating start chopping your veg and add them to the pan as soon as you've chopped each of them, first onion, followed by celery, carrots, pepper and garlic. Make sure to stir regularly.

Then add you minced beef breaking it into pieces with a wooden spoon. Add all the spices. Add sliced or chopped mushrooms and keep sauteing for another couple of minutes.

Add the tomatoes again breaking them with the spoon (or you can use chopped canned tomatoes), add 1 - 1.5 cans of water and the stock cube or pot. Leave to simmer, You can simmer it up to a couple of hours if you like, just make sure to stir every once in a while and add water if it looks like it's drying out. Then add the drained beans and simmer for another 10 nimutes, check the seasoning and serve.

But if you don't have the time, simmer on low heat for 20 minutes, add drained beans and simmer for another 10 minutes and serve.

You can use less water and make it drier and it's just a normal chilli you can serve with rice.

Mexican Chilli con Carne soup with minced beef and mushrooms

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