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My Mother's Cooking - Chili Soup with Shell Noodles

Updated on December 7, 2012

Chili Soup with Shell Noodles

My Mother's Cooking
My Mother's Cooking | Source

My Mother's Chili Soup

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Chili Soup with Shell Noodles


Each year, my mother canned nearly 100 quarts of tomatoes from our garden and she was always looking for new and interesting ways to use them. At that time, her main sources of new recipes were the local newspaper and magazines like "Woman’s Day" that she bought at the A&P grocery store.


I don’t know what her inspiration was for her chili soup, but I know that she never ate in a Mexican restaurant. It was made with ground beef, kidney beans, green peppers from her garden and of course her home canned tomatoes.


To make it a complete meal, she usually added elbow macaroni or shell noodles. It was warm and filling and delicious. As I recall, my mother went easy on the chili powder, but I like to add a fair amount and also some garlic. You can make up your own mind once you have tried this recipe. Since I don’t can my own tomatoes, I simply buy them at the grocery store.




Preparation Time:

30 Minutes

Cooking Time:

2 Hours



2 Pounds of Ground Beef

2 Medium Onions peeled and coarsely chopped

2 Large Green Peppers seeded and coarsely chopped

2 Cloves of Garlic pealed and coarsely chopped

3 Tablespoons of Cooking Oil

2 - 28 Oz. Cans of Crushed Tomatoes

1 – 28 Oz. Can of Red Kidney Beans

¼ Cup Ketchup

¼ Cup Chili Powder

1 Tablespoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper

8 Oz. of Small Shell Noodles or Elbow Macaroni



  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the meat using a large wooden spoon to break it into small pieces.
  2. Then add the chopped onions and green peppers and continue cooking until they are wilted. Do not add the garlic here or you will lose most of its flavor. Salt and pepper the mixture and mix in the chili powder.
  3. Add one can of tomatoes and the ketchup, mix well and then transfer the contents to a large soup kettle. Use the second can of tomatoes to rinse out the frying pan and add that to the pot too.
  4. Add the kidney beans and the garlic to the pot and simmer covered for about two hours.
  5. After an hour, you can taste the soup and add salt or chili powder to suit your own taste.
  6. Just before serving add the cooked shell noodles. If you add them too early, they will get too soft.


Serving Suggestions:

We generally ate this hearty soup just by itself with some homemade bread or biscuits.


Slow Cooker Chili Recipe

North Central Wisconsin where I learned to cook from my mother.

Wausau, Wisconsin:
Wausau, WI, USA

get directions

Milwaukee, Wisconsin:
Milwaukee, WI, USA

get directions


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    • rjsadowski profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago

      Thanks for your comment. My mother never wrote any of her recipes down, so I plan to record as many of them as possible for my children. Some of them, I have been making regularly for years while others I have had to re-create from memory of how they tasted.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      Barbara Purvis Hunter 

      9 years ago from Florida


      Your mother's recipe sounds great, I am going shopping and then fix it, as per the recipe. Mother's are always the best cook's.

      My Grandmother Knight's Blackberry Cobbler was so delicious, and I have tried to copy it, but it is just not the same. It could be my heart is just not into it without her there sharing it.

      Thanks was so nice of you to share something close to your heart. Thanks so much for doing that.


    • rjsadowski profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      That sounds interesting too. Remember, that my mother had to feed three younger children who didn't like anything too spicey.

    • Weekend Reader profile image

      Cindy D Whipany 

      10 years ago

      I like using chili in place of tomato sauce sometimes. I usually thin it enough that you can't tell if you're eating a thick soup, or pasta with a weak (but spicy) sauce. A slice of italian bread to mop up the plate at the end is a great finish.

    • rjsadowski profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Thanks for your comment. I look on it as comfort food.

    • scarytaff profile image

      Derek James 

      10 years ago from South Wales

      This is a new slant on a soup that I must try. It sounds great. Thanks for the recipe.

    • rjsadowski profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago

      Your welcome. You are right. This chili soup is particularly good on a chilly day.

    • lyjo profile image


      10 years ago

      This sounds delicious, must try it, great for the upcoming weather...thanks.


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