Tuscan-inspired chili? Whatever could this mean?

There’s is a lot of debate of what makes a chili a chili, but to me a chili is a hearty bean & ground meat soup with spicy chili and some tomato. While this has no tomato and neither chili apart from dried chili flakes, the depth in spice is derived instead from raw turmeric root and ginger root. And instead of ground beef, this recipe calls for ground turkey which I order in advance from Luca Menoni at the Sant’Ambrogio market. Just call Luca up and let them know how much you want- 500grams (half-kilo) is minimum and I suggest getting a kilo, divided in 2 packs, one vacuum packed so you can throw in the freezer for later!

How’d ya get raw turmeric root in Florence? La Raccolta health food store in Sant’Ambrogio!

Ginger root is a thing in Florence so you can find it pretty much everywhere, albeit questionable in quality. However, the best roots can be found in Sant’Ambrogio from the sole Asian food stand, also Naturasi and La Raccolta for organic ginger.

These two spices/roots have loads of associated superfood health benefits with its consumption. Namely, they are rich in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. I encourage you to read all about turmerics superfood powers in this article! For this recipe, I used a small food processor to chop these roots finely. Another option is to peel turmeric root and allow to extract in the soup base while it is cooking.

In addition to turkey, I added some Tuscan cannellini beans since they are a mega healthy food to make common in our diets. But let’s be honest- preparing them isn’t always easy if you are using dried beans and I have a mental block against canned beans for both taste and quality. I usually get fresh cooked beans as a time shortcut because I’m a busy working 30 something and I imagine a lot of you have kids and lives and don’t work from home and without the luxury of time to soak and boil beans which can take several hours

In Florence, getting fresh cooked beans is very affordable (1-2eu for 400 grams- a small price for a huge convenience) and a great middle ground to canned beans, which I try to avoid. So if you are in Florence, take advantage of convenient fresh cooked beans in the fridge section or from your local deli. If you’re somewhere else in the world, fresh cooked beans may not be so readily available so you can use lentils or another quick cook bean like split peas or mung beans.

This soup is easy to make and best of all- it is REALLY tasty & healthy! It’s full of fiber, vitamins & minerals thanks to mighty KALE, healthy protein, essential fats and low in saturated fats thanks to using turkey in lieu of ground beef (nothing wrong with red meat once in a while) and superfood powers thanks to turmeric root and ginger!

Without further adue, here is the recipe:

Turmeric & Ginger rich Tuscan-inspired chili soup 

Ingredients (serves 4-5, easily and makes for great leftovers)

Soffritto Vegetable base 
one carrot
one celery stick
one yellow onion
2-3 tablespoons of chopped parsley
(add garlic separate- don’t cook with soffritto- add after you’ve cooked soffritto for at least a few minutes to prevent garlic from burning)
2-4 medium cloves of garlic (depends on how much you love garlic)

For Soup Base
500 grams of ground turkey
250-300 grams cooked white cannellini beans (drained of all liquid, or 400grams in liquid if buying freshly cooked from a deli)
1 bunch of kale, chopped (stems reserved- don’t throw them away)

Spices & herbs
1 teaspoon (4 grams) of chopped raw turmeric root
1-2 teaspoons (6 grams) of chopped raw ginger root (depends on how much you love ginger)
Chili Flakes
Coarse Sea Salt/Sale Grosso
Fresh cracked pepper

Other
1.5-2 liters of Filtered Water (for broth- please throw away bouillon cubes and boxes of stock)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Butter

Directions:

Bring out your favorite stockpot/soup pot. Turn on to med/med high. Melt butter and olive oil. Add your soffritto. Add chopped garlic chili flakes to your soffritto and a teaspoon of sale grosso. Cook for a few minutes to soften. Add the chopped turmeric & ginger. Cook a few more minutes. If you’re like me and cannot stand food waste, chop up those reserved kale stalks and cook them down with the soffritto for extra fibrous texture. Add ground turkey, break into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon or spatula and brown with all the flavors. After 5 minutes,  add a generous cup of water and bring down the head to medium so it’s a steady simmer and not boiling, uncovered. Stir occasionally and make sure turkey is broken up in pieces- they’ll tend to want to form patty pieces. Every few minutes, add water slowly to build a flavorful broth. Halfway through the water building, add kale & cooked beans. Are you tasting the broth along the way? You should be! Then add the rest of the water, cup by cup, little by little. Taste along the way and add salt when necessary. Once you’ve added all the water, cook for about 10-15 minutes covered on medium low so all the flavors mesh together.

ta-da! This was shot cold because all the steam fogged my camera- it won’t look so cloudy when cooked!

Serve and no need to top with anything- maybe some olive oil to drizzle but it should be super flavorful!

Any questions about this soup? Comment below!

In your soupy trust,

Curious Appetite

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