One word: yum. This is a great soup/chili for a nice cool autumn evening. It’s simple to make and flexible enough to adapt to any palette. Regulars to this blog will know of my love of southwest flavors and this will be no exception. We haven’t tried this with the girls yet so this is kinda Kelli and I’s recipe for after the girls go to bed. With about a 20 minute prep/cook time, it’s great for a later meal when you don’t want to completely dirty the kitchen.

Be sure to check out the variation at the bottom if you like a little spice in your chili. But first, here’s the quick version:

  • 1lb ground turkey
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • ½ Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 10oz can of diced tomatoes with green chilies (Rotel)
  • 16 oz frozen corn
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • 1 package of ranch dressing mix (the dry powered stuff)
  • 1 16oz can fat-free refried beans (we like the La Preferida brand)

For garnish:

  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro
  • tortilla chips

In a large soup pot, cook the ground turkey, drain and set aside. Add olive oil and heat until shimmering. Add onion and sauté until opaque. Add garlic and stir for about 1 minute. (Don’t let it burn — yuk!) Add the turkey back into the pot and stir for a little bit. Next add the taco seasonings, ranch seasoning, both cans of tomatoes, corn, and 2 cups chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the can of refried beans and stir until dissolved. Simmer until the corn is thawed and cooked. Salt and pepper to taste (you won’t need much!) If you like the chili to be a bit more “soupy” then add more chicken broth until desired thickness.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheese and cilantro in the soup and eat with a nice serving of tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Variation: Don’t like the packaged taco seasonings? Me neither. Try substituting the taco seasoning with the following:

  • 2 Tbl chili power
  • 1 Tbl ground cumin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1½ tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ½ tsp smoked Chipotle powder

That little gem should increase the “yum” factor exponentially by giving it a nice smokey heat.

Another variation: Some think it’s a crime to call it chili without beans. Kelli is not a huge fan of beans so I leave them out but you can easily add a 15.5oz can of black beans and 15,5oz can of pinto beans along with the frozen corn. (To make it a veggie-only soup, nix the turkey and add one more can of pinto.)

Another another variation – updated on 9/28/2013 Turns out the necessity is the mother of invention… or at the very least, a Google search.

When making this recipe one evening we forgot to get the ranch seasoning. A quick search on the Interwebs revealed an easy home-made recipe of a ranch dressing mix that works very well (dare I suggest even better then the mix version.) Using this variation with the homemade taco seasoning above helps control the ‘ole salt and preservative intake, but makes the herb and spice list rather lengthy (which I don’t mind.)

  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp pepper