Southwestern Chili

Every cook needs a chili soup standby. Chili without beans, however, can seem incomplete and leaves something to be desired. Using yams provides the heartiness with good carbs. Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, and chopped fresh cilantro make good garnishes.

Serves 6

2 Tbsp palm oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 green pepper, veins and seeds removed, diced

2–3 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced (serranos if more heat desired)

1 celery stalk, sliced ¼-inch thick

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 Tbsp chili powder

2½ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp cayenne pepper

¾ tsp dried oregano

1 lb ground chicken or turkey

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 (28-ounce) cans diced plum (Roma) tomatoes

1 small yam, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes, about 1 cup

Garnishes—Monterrey jack cheese, sour cream, and cilantro

  1. In a large frying pan, heat oil over medium. Add onion, green pepper, chili peppers, and celery. Sauté, stirring until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and oregano. Sauté, stirring to meld flavors.
  2. Increase heat to medium. Add ground turkey, stirring often until brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for thirty minutes or so. Add water if necessary.
  3. Add yam and simmer until tender. Adjust seasonings, adding more chili powder if desired. Ladle into soup bowls, garnish and serve.