2017-10-11 / Community


with Allison Meadows Beggs

It was an epic battle between mild and wild at last weekend’s Moonlight Madness event in Flora. Okay, so maybe it wasn’t epic, but it was a culinary battle just the same, as cooks serving up mild soups were pitted against those daring to fill bowls with spicier fare. When the final votes were tallied, Brianna Dilllingham’s Taco Soup, savory with a tad of kick from Ro- Tel tomatoes and a touch of smoothness from refried beans, took top honors in the mild category. With no less than – count them – seven varieties of peppers, Matt Sewell led the pack with his Spicy Chicken Vegetable Soup. Congratulations to both of these Carroll County winners! I can’t wait to try both of these recipes. To round up the column to the traditional three recipes per week, I’m also leaning to the spicy side. Jalapeno Popper Soup transforms one of Brad’s favorite appetizers into a pot full of creamy, goodness. Next week: more savory soups. Happy eating!

Brianna Dillingham’s Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
10 oz. can Ro-Tel tomatoes
15 oz. can corn
15 oz. can kidney beans
8 oz. can tomato sauce
16 oz. refried beans
1 packet taco seasoning
2 1/2 C. chicken broth
Brown meat. Drain. Add all ingredients. Cook 10-15 minutes.
Serve with tortilla chips.

Matt Sewell’s

Spicy Chicken Vegetable Soup

1 rotisserie chicken, skinned,
deboned and chopped
1 chicken andouille sausage,
2 large carrots, sliced
1 bunch of celery, sliced
1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 orange pepper, chopped
3 jalapeno peppers, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
3 serrano peppers, diced
1 tabasco pepper, diced
1 bag frozen corn
1 15-oz. can black beans,
rinsed and drained
2 large cans of chicken broth
2 cans of cream of chicken
1/2 stick (1/4 C.) salted butter
Add to taste - garlic powder,
black pepper, Tajin, red
pepper, creole seasonings,

Throw carrots, onions, celery into a large pot with butter and half a can of chicken broth. Let cook while chopping peppers; add peppers to pot. Pull apart chicken and chop; place in pot. Slice sausage; place in pot. Add the rest of the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup, corn and beans. Add seasonings to taste. Let simmer

Jalapeno Popper Soup

8 slices thick-cut bacon
1 T. butter
1 large red bell pepper, finely
1 medium yellow onion, finely
4 large jalapeno peppers,
seeded and finely minced
6 C. chicken stock (not broth)

12 oz. extra sharp cheddar
cheese, coarsely grated
8 oz. Monterey Jack cheese,
coarsely grated
8-oz. pkg. cream cheese,

Fry the bacon until crispy. Drain well on paper towels, crumble and set aside. Melt butter in a large soup pot or Dutch oven. Add peppers and onions and sauté until tender. Add broth, bring to a boil then turn down heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or so. Add cheeses and cream cheese in batches, stirring and melting after each addition. Be sure to keep heat on low to prevent curdling or separation as you add the dairy ingredients. Add the heavy cream and cook until heated through. Remove from heat. Add a little more than half of the crumbled bacon to the pot and stir to incorporate. Serve in individual bowls and garnish with remaining bacon and cheese, sour cream or French fried onions if desired.

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