Who isn’t making chili this time of the year? Here’s chili with a spin to it. It’s all about the green! Tomatillos, Spinach, Split Peas, Jalapenos and Cilantro. Add some chorizo, northern beans and onions. Spice it up with chili powder, cumin, coriander and (of course) green hot sauce.
It doesn’t end there. Be gone grilled cheese and tomato soup. It’s now all about green chili and grilled cheese croutons. What is more perfect with chili than topping it with cheese and dipping bread into the chili until it is soaked with lusciousness. From that combination came the invention of the grilled cheese croutons. The butter is spiced up with chipotle powder and the manchego cheese gives you that creamy flavor, offsetting some of the heat.
The recipe makes about a gallon of chili. I think if you’re going through all the effort, make a pot full. It freezes well. Wishing you warm evenings with family and friends!
Bring peas and water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 40-60 minutes. Peas should be tender and moist. The water should be mostly absorbed. If it starts to get dry, add a little more water to keep it moist. Add the chicken stock and puree with an immersion blender or in a food processor. Set to the side.
In a large soup kettle, brown chorizo over medium heat. Drain most of the fat, leaving a thin layer on the bottom of the kettle to cook the vegetables in.
Add all the vegetables and spices to the pot. Cook vegetables over medium heat for 10 minutes or until vegetables have softened.
Add the chicken stock to the soup kettle. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add the beans. Slowly add the pea puree, stirring continuously. Simmer on low for an hour or longer. The longer it cooks, the more intensified the flavor.
THE GRILLED CHEESE CROUTONS
Mix soft butter with chipolte powder.
Heat a non stick skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes. Spread chipotle butter on one slice of bread. Top with cheese. Place in skillet butter side down and cook for 1 ½ minutes or until golden brown. While it’s cooking, butter second piece of bread and place on top of cheese (butter side face up). Flip and cook for an additional minute or until golden brown. Let cool for a couple minutes. Cut into 1 inch croutons.
Serve croutons over chili and garnish with fresh cilantro, chopped.
*Estimate 1/2 a sandwich per person. The butter mixture will create 3-4 sandwiches.