Top | Marisa McClellan

Bean-Free Chili Soup

(recipe, Marisa McClellan)

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  1. 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  3. 3 bell peppers, seeded and chopped (use any colors you’d like)
  4. ¼ cup tomato paste
  5. 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  6. 1 tsp. cumin
  7. 7 to 8 turns of a pepper grinder
  8. 2 lb. grass-fed beef, ground
  9. 2 large cans of tomato purée (about 5 cups total)
  10. 1 large bundle of chard, cut into ribbons
  11. Chunks of avocado, for garnish
  12. Red onion, minced, for garnish


  1. Heat the olive oil over high heat in a large soup pot. Add the onions and peppers and cook until they’re browned. Add the tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, and black pepper, and cook until the spices are fragrant and the tomato paste is fully incorporated.
  2. Push the peppers and onions off to the sides of the pan so that you create a well in the center of the pot. Place one pound of the ground beef into that well. Using a flat-edged wooden spatula, chop it into crumbles. Once the beef has browned, work it into the vegetables. Repeat this process for the second pound of meat.
  3. Once all the meat has browned, add the tomato purée. If the soup is looking a little thick, add a quart of water to thin it. Bring the soup to a simmer and stir in the chard ribbons.
  4. Taste and add enough sea salt to bring out the flavors of the soup (my pot took approximately three teaspoons, but preferences vary). It’s ready to eat when the greens are fully wilted.
  5. Serve topped with avocado and minced red onion.