Tired of beef? Bored with chicken? The general flavors of chili are great, but I'm always looking for ways to fancy-up the protein portion of it. Not quite sure what brought on this idea, but it was a good choice! After seeing all the seafood I was buying, the cashier in the supermarket asked me if I had a recipe for it before I started to make it. I told her no, I was just going to wing it... I didn't feel like going into the whole "food blog" thing in line at Shop Rite. She yelled, "You go girl! Good luck!" right before I walked out the door and I swear, I thought about bringing her a container of it when it was finished. I still may...
Read on to find out how to make this hearty soup. Don't be daunted by the amount of ingredients in it, mostly all the ingredients are easy to work with, and lots of ingredients are simply flavor enhancers. If you set yourself up with a nice mise en place before you start, it shouldn't be that hard at all. Enjoy!!
What You'll Need:
- 3 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp. fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 1 Vidalia onion, diced
- 2 bell peppers (one red, one yellow), diced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 4 oz. bacon, diced
- 8 oz. mushrooms, diced
- 1 quart vegetable broth, divided
- 14 oz. can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
- 14 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/8 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/2 lb. EACH - scallops, crab meat, shrimp (peeled and deveined), clams
- 2 limes
- 1 tbsp. Old Bay
- 1 tbsp. horseradish
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper
- 1 avocado, diced + chopped cilantro, for garnish
1. In a large stock pot, swirl 2 tbsp. of olive oil in the bottom and add the garlic, 1/2 the onion, bell peppers, and poblano pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook until softened. In a separate skillet, add the remaining olive oil, and cook off the bacon until crisp. Add the mushrooms and the other half of the onion and cook until softened.
2. Add half the vegetable broth to the large pot and, using a food processor or immersion blender, blend the peppers and onions until almost smooth. Note: this step is completely optional. I don't like to bite down on large pieces of peppers or onions, but I still very much like the taste, especially in something like this. To avoid having "crunchy" vegetables, I blend them. If you don't mind the peppers and onions in the soup, you can leave them the way they are.
3. Add the beans, mushroom, onion, and bacon mix to the stock pot and incorporate. Add cumin, chili powder, paprika, oregano and paprika and let simmer.
4. In the same pan you used to cook the bacon, add ALL your seafood. Season with the zest of one lime and the juice of two limes. Also add Old Bay, salt, pepper, and horseradish. Stir well to incorporate. When the shrimp has turned pink, add all ingredients in the pan to the stock pot. Cover with the rest of the vegetable broth and drop in bay leaf. Stir and simmer on low heat for 2 hours.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and diced avocado - it really takes the chili to the next level. Enjoy!