sweet potato turkey chili

Cold weather immediately calls for chili. I like chili for the meat and the comforting meal. I'm not in it for the spice or heat. I am however completely in it for the shredded cheese. It's like the "make your own sundae" of soups. 

I did a sweet potato and kale soup at some point last winter. While it sounded like a good idea, the sweet potato became rather over powering.... and bland. The recipe was so mediocre that I never even wrote it up for posterity. That has to say something. I really wanted to keep this sweet potato vibe going but knew I had to be conscious of this experience. Since the potatoes were going into the soup, roasted them for added flavor was not going to be a great solution. Instead, I just "zoodled" them into much thiner and smaller pieces... and only used about 50% of what the original recipe called for. 

The end result was a success. The sweet potato was definitely in the chili but by no means overwhelming or bland. The heat was on par for my kitchen but could easily be amped up with extra seasoning or jalapeno. I always keep the jalapeno seeds out because I'm a baby.

Just like with any chili, part of the magic comes from the toppings. I'm not sure who eats naked chili, but it certainly isn't me. In this case, I went with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and red onion. Additionally, I avoid adding salt in my recipes during cooking so that it can be added by each person individually. My grandfather is on a low sodium diet ... and well so should the rest of the world probably.

Here's how it goes.
  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, and garlic and sauté until onion is tender and translucent, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add turkey meat and brown, breaking up with a wooden spoon. 
  3. Add spices, salt, and pepper and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add tomatoes and their liquid and cook for another minute or two.
  5. Add the rinsed beans, sweet potato, and broth. Bring to a boil, lower to a simmer and cover. Cook until sweet potatoes are tender and everything is nice and thick, about 1 hour. The longer you can leave it simmering on the stove the more the flavors will come together. It's the most magical thing about chili.
  6. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve with desired toppings.
Shopping List
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lbs ground turkey
1 medium onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
pinch ground cloves
1 can (14.5 ounce) diced tomatoes
2 cans (15 oz) of beans (kidney / pinto / cannelloni)
1 medium sweet potato, shredded (about 4 cups) or riced in a food processor
3 cups beef broth

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