Sweater weather is here…which means that it’s also chili weather! Mom’s Chili Soup is a soup-er kid-friendly version of everyone’s favorite cold weather classic!
People get really, really passionate about their chili, and it seems like everyone has their own, special recipe. Noodles. No noodles. Type of meat. Spice level/secret spices. Type of beans. And that doesn’t even begin to broach the “what do you serve on the side” debate. Grilled cheese? Peanut butter sandwich? Biscuits?
My local small town even does an annual chili-walk, where all of the local business put together their favorite recipe and customers wander the town trying each and voting on their favorite. It’s hugely popular and brings in a solid amount for the town revitalization fund.
This particular recipe is the one that I grew up eating, and though some would question if it’s actually “chili” (ahem, my husband), it really is my favorite version. I don’t care for beans…at all…and this recipe hides the beans so you don’t even know they’re there! Plus it’s really mild and has no onions or peppers in it, which makes it incredibly kid friendly! Bless my mom for thinking this one up when she was trying to feed three hungry, picky kids on a budget.
Tips for Making Mom’s Chili Soup:
-You can easily make this a one-pot meal by browning the ground beef in your soup pot before adding the tomato juice and other ingredients. I just like to do it in a separate skillet so I can save time and be heating the juice/cooking the noodles/pureeing the beans/browning the beef all at the same time! Yay for multi-tasking!
-Feel free to change up the noodles and use macaroni instead! We use spaghetti because we like that it’s a little more delicate and I’ve found that my kids have more fun eating it! If you’re using spaghetti, I recommend breaking the noodles three times as you add them to the pot.
-You can make this as thick or soupy as you want by adding more or less tomato juice. I always buy two 64 oz bottles and keep the other on hand in case it needs thinning or to use when I’m reheating leftovers!
-If you do add more tomato juice while it’s cooking, you may need to adjust the seasoning levels. As with all of my recipes, taste it before serving and add more as needed!
How to Make Mom’s Chili Soup:
Add a 64 oz bottle of plain tomato juice to a large soup pot (such as a Dutch oven) and bring a steady simmer. Add spaghetti noodles, breaking them into thirds as you add them to the pot. While the tomato juice is heating, brown the hamburger in a separate skillet, seasoning with seasoned salt, garlic salt, ground cumin, and chili powder. Once it meat is cooked through, drain the grease and add the meat to the tomato juice. In a food processor, puree the undrained chili beans until smooth. Add to the tomato juice. Let simmer until the noodles are cooked through. If the soup is too thick, add a little more tomato juice. Serve topped with plenty of shredded cheese if you’re into that sort of thing, and with a nice grilled cheese sandwich on the side for dipping.
Mom's Chili Soup
- 1 lb Ground Beef
- 64 oz Tomato Juice + Extra if Needed
- 15.5 oz Can Mild Chili Beans
- 1/2 lb Spaghetti or Desired Pasta
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Chili Powder
- Seasoned Salt, to taste
- Garlic Salt, to taste
- In a large, heavy bottomed soup pot, such as a Dutch Oven, heat the tomato juice over medium-high heat. Once the juice comes to a strong simmer, add the spaghetti, breaking three times over the pot.
- In a separate skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain any grease and season with seasoned salt, garlic salt, cumin, and chili powder.
- While the pasta is cooking and the meat is browning, puree the chilis beans (with any liquid from the can) in a food processor or blender until smooth.
- Add the browned beef and bean puree to the soup pot with the tomato juice and spaghetti. Stir to combine, and simmer for about five minutes, giving the soup time to thicken.
- Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or spices as needed. Serve topped with shredded cheese and a grilled cheese sandwich on the side for dipping.