After a 74-degree January day three days ago, apparently today was one of the coldest we’ve had on record in two years. Gotta love the Midwest.
So after a morning of running errands with Liz and literally shaking in our boots every time we had to face the freezing wind chills, I decided that it was time for something really warm for lunch. I started out making a tortilla soup, and then decided at the last second to throw in some hot sauce and go “buffalo”! Less than a half hour later, one of my new favorites was born — Buffalo Chicken Chili.
I have no idea why I’ve never tried this before. The traditional hot sauce, blue cheese and chicken combination go perfectly together in a warm soup!!! In my quest to clean out the pantry, I added in lots of white beans, corn, and my favorite fire-roasted tomatoes. But whatever other veggies or beans you might like would be delicious in this too, since the hot sauce pulls everything together so well. And for any of you who are a bit wary of the “heat” factor, you can add as much or as little hot sauce as you’d like. I made mine with a definite “kick”, but otherwise this is a simple tortilla soup base, so just build on that as you please.
This would be a great recipe for the Super Bowl this weekend, or any other game days in your future. But then of course, I’m pretty sure that a good soup is perfect any day of the year in my book.
optional toppings: blue cheese crumbles, chopped green onions
Heat oil in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and saute for about 5-7 minutes until the onions are cooked and translucent. Add garlic and saute for an additional 2 minutes until fragrant, stirring occasionally.
Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until all vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve warm topped with blue cheese crumbles and green onions.