SoupaPalooza 2012: Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Soupapalooza with TidyMom and DineandDish
Today, we’re joining SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish, sponsored by KitchenAid,
Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset, because I love soup.

I love soup.  The end.

Actually, I could go on and on about the wonderful world of soup.  But you’d probably be wishing

for “the end,” so I’ll try to be brief about all the reasons to love soup.

1.  Soup is the easiest thing to cook.  Sure, there are recipes that can be followed (including the delicious one below, and all the others linked up to Soupalooza today), but they really aren’t necessary!  Start with meat & veges, add liquid, season to taste.  You just made soup!  No rules, just good food!

2.  Soup is economical.  Lots of my favorite soups are made with leftover meat and/or veges (or meatless!) from other meals.

3.  Soup is nutritional.  Vegetables, beans and lentils, even grains like barley are easily “hidden” in soup.

4.  Soup gets better with age.  Make it in the morning, eat it for dinner; make it today, eat it tomorrow; make it now, eat it this weekend . . . or all of the above!  The flavors seem to blend and get better every time they go through the heat and cool cycle.

5.  Soup freezes beautifully.  ‘nuf said.  (If you know me at all, then you know I love my deep freezer.  In fact, my deep freezer is the very first “big ticket item” we purchased as a married couple.  We slept on the floor for months because our extra money went toward a deep freezer instead of a mattress!)  At this very moment, my deep freezer contains gallons of vegetable beef soup, chipotle sweet potato chili, corn and potato chowder, and, of course, turkey pumpkin chili.

6.  Soup reminds me of home and my parents.  Beginning with the first pot of chili on the third weekend of September every year (our family tradition), my mom (remember meeting her here?) frequently has a crockpot of soup simmering.  And my dad? he can eat soup like no else!

I scored the motherlode of canned pumpkin on after-season clearance, so I’ve been on the hunt for ways to work this nutritional powerhouse into as many recipes as possible, including hiding it in marinara sauce and Recipe Girl’s Pumpkin Cornbread.  Thanks, Deanna, for recommending I try it in chili!  This one’s a winner!

Turkey Pumpkin Chili

2 T olive oil
2 large onions, chopped
2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
8 cloves of garlic, minced
2 lb ground turkey
102 oz can diced tomatoes*
7 oz can diced green chiles
29 oz can pumpkin puree
1 lb kidney beans, soaked overnight, cooked, salted**
1 lb black beans, soaked overnight, cooked, salted**
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2″ dice and roasted***
4 C chicken broth (or more, as desired)
3 T chili powder
2 T cumin
1 T salt
1 1/2 t ground black pepper
cayenne pepper to taste
Garnish:  cilantro, sour cream, sharp cheddar cheese

Heat oil in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
Saute the onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add turkey and brown, about 10 minutes.  Stir in canned tomatoes, chiles, beans, pumpkin, roasted sweet potatoes, and chicken broth.  Season with chili powder, cumin, salt, black pepper, and cayenne to taste.
Reduce heat and simmer.  Add additional broth as you prefer.   Garnish with cilantro, sour cream, and/or cheddar cheese.

*I buy canned tomatoes at the bulk food store.  They’re SO much less expensive there than the small cans at the grocery.
**Of course, canned beans may be substituted here, but once you start cooking with dry beans, you’ll never go back!  The flavor is so much better, and the texture is smooth and creamy.  Beans can be a hard sell, I know, but cooking dry beans is SO worth the extra effort!  I use a slow cooker, so it’s not really “effort,” just planning ahead.
***I use Barbara Kafka‘s high-heat roasting method for all my vegetables, but especially root vegetables and broccoli.  Roasted broccoli . . . yum!  Wish I could have some right now–it’s that good!

Recipe adapted by OTH via love & olive oil and Deanna Frizzelle.

Looking for more great soups?  Follow the link to Soupalooza for hundreds of recipes (we’re #160!), or check out my favorite cookbook on the subject, Sunday Soup.  Better yet, leave your favorite soup recipe in the comments!

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Posted on February 29, 2012, in Catering, Linky, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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