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Tri-County Chili Course: Soups & Stews
Diet: Gluten-Free, Paleo, Dairy Free
Melanie Cunningham |

This first-place chili from the Eat Local Challenge Potluck in 2012 incorporates ingredients from northern, middle, and southern Humboldt.


  • Olive oil (Henry’s Olives)
  • 3 red & yellow bell peppers, diced (Green Fire Farm)
  • 1 quart canned tomatoes (Willow Creek Farm)
  • 1 large sweet onion (Shakefork Community Farm)
  • 1 cup pinto beans, soaked & cooked (Shakefork Community Farm)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seed, ground (Shakefork Community Farm)
  • 1 quart chicken stock (Shakefork Community Farm) 
  • ½ pound Anaheim peppers, roasted (Garberville Community Farm)
  • 2 pounds ground grass-fed beef (Bear River Valley Beef)
  • Salt to taste
  • Cumin seed, ground, to taste
  • 1 quart water


  1. In a two gallon stock pot, sauté diced onion in olive oil until golden. 

  2. Add diced bell peppers and sauté three to five minutes. 

  3. In a separate pan (cast iron), sauté ground beef over medium heat in its own juices until evenly brown. 

  4. While the beef cooks, hold the Anaheim peppers (using metal tongs) over 

  5. an open flame of a gas burner or BBQ until they crackle and pop and the skin turns black. The peppers may smoke a bit, so this step may be best attempted outside. If you don’t want the blackened pepper skin in your soup, place the peppers in a mason jar or other airtight container while still hot and seal the lid tight. Let the peppers cool in the jar long enough to touch them without burning your fingers. The blackened portion of the skin will then peel off easily.

  6. Roughly chop Anaheim peppers and combine with beef, onions and bell peppers in the two gallon stock pot. Add water, canned tomatoes (with liquid) and chicken stock. Rinse beans and add to stock pot. Add herbs and salt to taste. 

  7. Simmer gently for 2-4 hours, or until desired thickness is achieved. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Recipes you might like:
Vegetarian Tuscan Kale & Navy Bean Soup
Pasta e Fagioli
Rustic Root Soup