The Super Bowl is just over a week away. And while I can’t say that I am particularly invested in the outcome of the game, I’m still sure to watch. If for nothing else, for the commercials.
Oh, and the food. Duh. The most important part!
The past few years, my Super Bowl experience has been anything but traditional. One of my best friends and her husband both work for the NFL, and we’ve been lucky enough to have been invited to the big game. We attended the Super Bowl in New Orleans a few years ago, and it is still one of my most favorite trips of all time. And not even because of the Super Bowl! But because that city is…incredible. And we got to experience it with good friends at the height of the Super Bowl excitement. It was like a mini Marti Gras (which started the very next week by the way), but far less scandalous. No beads were thrown.
In addition to that, my job requires me to travel right around the week of the Super Bowl every year. I travel to attend an annual meeting for one of my clients, and it ALWAYS takes place in a tropical location. This year, it’s Hawaii. Not too shabby. The only downside? I travel for many hours only to work for a day or two and then have to travel home. There really isn’t anything leisurely about it. AND, this year, I’m missing the Super Bowl in San Fransisco. My husband and our two friends are headed out to Cali to take in the city and the game, while I’ll be working in Hawaii (I know. Cry me a river, right?).
So, needless to say, our big game food spreads have suffered these past few years. Which is really the most disappointing thing. I LOVE football food, and I LOVE the type of eating situation where I have a bunch of smaller options to munch on. The big game is the perfect excuse for both these things, and I haven’t been able to do a full-blown Super Bowl spread in a few years. I’m still crying that river for you, don’t worry.
So! I’m making up for it now. I’ve been making some fun football foods these past few weeks so I’d have something to share with you guys before the game. I’ll be sharing some goodies over the next week or so. So yay for that!
Quick side bar: It pains me to admit this, but my husband and I ate buffalo chicken dip for dinner two nights ago. Yup. We both had extremely busy days and were exhausted (and starving) come 6 pm (which is a recipe for disaster in the Meehan household). There was some BCD in the fridge, leftover from the weekend. We discovered the dip, took one look at each other, nodded, and grabbed the dip, some chips, and a bottle of wine. And I have to say, as ridiculous as that was, I don’t regret it. Football food for life. Anyway. Back to the important matter at hand.
This chorizo and bean soup is the PERFECT thing to serve for the big game. I love a soup option at a tailgate party, and while chili usually takes the coveted soup spot on the table, I thought I’d switch things up and offer a chili alternative for your game day spread. This soup is so packed with texture and flavor, while still maintaining some of the Spanish/Southwestern flavors we know and love in chili. Meaning, you can serve it to a football crowd and people won’t look at you like your bonkers. It’s DELICIOUS.
You wanna know the reason that I think chili is such a popular thing to serve for a sporting event? The topping options! I don’t know about you, but I love a bowl of soup with tons of toppings. I’m all about the toppings. Kind of like an ice cream sundae or a crazy-good burger. TOPPINGS. And this soup is the same way. You can top it off with a drizzle of Mexican crema (or sour cream), some salty, crumbly cheese, some fresh herbs and scallions, a spritz of lime, or even some crushed tortilla chips! Whatever you fancy. It is the perfect soup to set out (do it in your slow cooker!) with a toppings bar. People get excited over toppings. Trust me. I am not the only one.
The other nice thing about this soup? It’s actually pretty healthy. Lots of veggies and beans! Sure, there’s a little sausage, but you don’t have to use a lot since it’s so flavorful. It’s a nice lighter option to serve alongside all the other cheese laden dishes (OMG, I’m all about the cheesy dips and cheese/bacon-filled jalapeño poppers). Plus, it just feels a tad fancy with the toppings bar. See? It always comes back to those damn toppings for me.
PLEASE make this soup soon, if not for the big game, for a warming weeknight meal. It’s heaven.
I’ll be living vicariously through you as I watch the game in my hotel room, sans fun food spreads. Sad face.
12 oz chorizo sausage, casings removed and diced (or use ground sausage if you can find it)
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ cup dry white wine (optional)
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (15-oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn
½ cup whole milk or half-and-half (optional)
Mexican crema (or sour cream/yogurt thinned with a little milk)
Chopped parsley or cilantro
Crumbled queso fresco cheese (or feta)
In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the chorizo over medium-high heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it is rendered and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the chorizo from the pot and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium. To the drippings in the pan, add the onion, carrot, and bell peppers. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the veggies are soft, about 8 minutes. Add in the garlic, red pepper flakes, and spices and cook for a couple more minutes.
Raise the heat to high and add the white wine. Scrape up any browned bits of chorizo/spices from the bottom of the pot (If omitting the wine, just add the stock at this point).
Add in the stock, bay leaf, and canned tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 25-30 minutes.
Add the beans, corn, and milk/half-and-half and simmer for another 5 minutes. Return the crispy chorizo to the pot and season the soup, to taste, with additional salt and pepper.
To serve, ladle the soup into bowls and top with desired garnishes. My favorite combination is a drizzle of crema, fresh herbs, crumbled cheese, and a spritz of fresh lime juice.