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Warmth from Inside Out

Jan 31, 2019

When I looked ahead at my South Dakota Magazine submission schedule for January, I made a mental note that this week leads up to that really big football game that everyone seems to watch, even just for the commercials. While football isn’t my thing, I do really enjoy the food that goes with those kinds of events, and tentatively planned to share a new dip recipe. Every football party needs a dip, right?

But then the polar vortex happened. Brrr. Subzero temperatures and mind-numbing wind chills covered South Dakota and several other states. Schools and businesses closed as a precaution to the life-threatening cold. The United States Postal Service even disrupted service. Those who had to brave the weather needed layers and layers of clothing and warm, filling meals.

I am putting a pause on that dip recipe and leaning hard into the cliché of soup. Soup always warms us from the inside out. Everyone needs a few simple, tried-and-true soup recipes in their arsenal of menus, and I am here to add another that is perfect for this cold weather.

White Turkey Chili starts with a base of onion, garlic, celery and carrot and omits the tomato of traditional beef chili. Ground turkey is super lean and yields to the flavorful green chilies, cumin and cayenne. A pinch of cinnamon provides a depth for the soup, while firm cannellini beans increase the heartiness. I topped my bowl with a squeeze of lime, some crumbled queso and chopped cilantro. Cornbread makes a great side dish to round out a meal that can counter even the coldest polar vortex days.


White turkey chili lacks the tomato of traditional chili, but retains the spice and warmth.

White Turkey Chili

(adapted from AllRecipes)

olive oil

1/2 of a medium onion, chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground turkey

2 (4 ounce) cans green chilies, chopped

2-3 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon steak seasoning

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon flour

4 cups chicken broth

3 cans (15 ounces) cannellini beans

In a heavy pot, heat olive oil and sauté onion, carrot and celery. Cook and stir until onion is translucent and carrot and celery are tender. Add the garlic and ground turkey. Break up the turkey into crumbles and cook until browned. Stir in the green chilies, seasonings and flour. Cook a few minutes until seasonings are fragrant and flour has coated meat mixture. Add broth and cannellini beans to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes to meld flavors. Taste and season with salt and pepper, if needed. (Serves 4-6)

Fran Hill has been blogging about food at On My Plate since October of 2006. She, her husband and their three dogs ranch near Colome.


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