PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Winter in Pittsburgh is the perfect time to enjoy a piping hot bowl of delicious soup and chili! If a Thai corn chowder or chick pea chili sounds appetizing to you, grab a spoon and head into the kitchen with these recipes from the Big Burrito Restaurant Group Chef Bill Fuller!

Chef Fuller says the Mad Mex Chick Pea Chili is the most popular soup at the annual Empty Bowls Dinner to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and Just Harvest!

Soba Thai Corn Chowder
2 Tbs. soybean oil
¼ C. rough chopped celery
1/3 C. rough chopped garlic
1 ea. small rough chopped onion
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbs. salt
1 Qt. fresh kernels of corn
1 Tbs. Penang Curry Paste
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 cans coconut milk
1 ½ C. roasted corn kernels

1. In a large pot, heat oil. Add celery, garlic, and onions and stir-fry until cooked and lightly browned. Add pepper, salt, frozen corn, curry, and sugar. Stir fry until curry is fragrant.

2. Add water to cover by approx. 1 inch. Add coconut milk. Bring to a boil and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

3. Remove from pot, puree, and strain through large hole strainer, or a food mill pressing on the strained puree to extract all liquid. Stir in corn and adjust seasonings.

Penang Curry Paste
2 oz. Dried red chilis, deseeded
1 Tbs. Coriander seeds, toasted
1 Tbs. Shrimp paste
Juice of 2 limes
10-12 each Kafir lime leaves, de-stemmed and chopped
2/3 C. Chopped cilantro, washed well and dried, stems and roots included
3 Tbs. Chopped mint, washed well and dried, stems and roots included
2 stalks lemongrass, first 5-6 inches (save tops for lemongrass stock)
2 tbs. Brown sugar
2/3 C. Chopped garlic
2/3 C. Chopped shallots
4 each juniper berries
2 oz. Fresh turmeric

1. Soak dried chilis in hot water to soften for approx. ½ hour. Assemble other ingredients while waiting.

2. Mix all other ingredients. Remove red chilis from water and reserve water. Add to other ingredients.

3. Puree all ingredients in a blender using the chili water to moisten the mixture ant to aid in blending.

4. Extra curry paste can be frozen if necessary.

Mad Mex Chick Pea Chili
2 Lb Peeled, washed tomatillos
2 ea. Whole jalapenos, de-stemmed
½ C. Rough chopped white onion
4 cloves Whole garlic
2 tsp. Salt
1 32 oz. can Garbanzo beans (Chick Peas), drained and rinsed
1 ea. Small Spanish onion, sliced thinly to julienne
1 Tbs. Black pepper
2 Tbs. Salt
¼ C Olive oil
2 Tbs. Chopped cilantro


1. Clean tomatillos by immersing in water and removing skins.

2. Place tomatillos in a heavy-duty ovenproof pot with whole jalapenos, onion, whole garlic, salt and olive oil.

3. Place pot in a 500° oven and roast vegetables until soft and lightly browned.

4. Pour tomatillo mixture into a blender. Puree thoroughly. You may need to do this in two batches.

5. Return mixture to pot. Add chickpeas. Bring to a simmer.

6. Stir in cilantro.


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