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Election Day Chili

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This cozy meal is perfect for Election Day (think red beans and blue cornmeal – argue amongst yourselves which one is best) but I plan to keep the idea in my pocket for Thanksgiving. This is a great way to use up leftover turkey (this recipe uses cooked, shredded turkey instead of ground) as well as all of the veggies you bought to chop up for stuffing...I even like to throw in some leftover gravy for richness. To serve, set out a big pot and let guest garnish their bowls with cheese, sour cream and chopped onions. Wrap it up in blue corn tortillas or ladle over blue corn muffins for the ultimate red and blue meal. 

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 ribs celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons ground chile (not cayenne)
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon coarse salt
3 cups homemade turkey or chicken stock or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth
2 cans crushed tomatoes
2 cups prepared turkey gravy
1 pound shredded cooked turkey
2 cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red or green onion, sour cream for garnish

Heat olive oil in a large soup pot over medium-low heat. Add onions, celery, carrots and green pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, ground chile, paprika, cumin, oregano, and salt until combined. Add stock, crushed tomatoes, gravy, shredded turkey and beans; increase heat to medium high and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 to 45 minutes.

NOTE: The chili may be made in advance and chilled for 2 days, or frozen for 2 months.

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