This is a great tasting soup for winter. It blends a lot of great flavors and nutrition in one meal and it freezes really well so you can make it ahead and always have soup on hand to serve. This recipe calls for making the turkey stock from scratch using uncooked turkey. If you have a left over turkey carcass and want to make stock from that, that can work. Alternatively, you can use bought chicken stock.
To make the stock, use a 2-1/4 – 2-1/2 pound half turkey breast with bone in and skin on and ask your butcher for 2 turkey necks. In a large stockpot, add water, onions, carrots celery salt, ground pepper and the turkey. Bring to a simmer, cover pot and let simmer for one hour. I like to make the stock one-day in advance refrigerate it and the skim off the fat before making the soup.
When the stock is done, remove the turkey breast and let cool. Discard all other solids and reserve liquid. Remove the skin from the turkey breast and cut the meat into half-inch pieces Discard the skin and carcass. If you are making the stock one-day ahead reserve the cut turkey in a covered bow or storage bag until you are ready to make the soup.
The key ingredient in this soup is the addition of a Parmesan rind that is about 3” x 2”. As the soup cooks the Parmesan adds a subtle, nutty flavor and depth to the soup and is well balanced by the rosemary. To make the soup, first prepare the beans. While the stock is cooking (or the next day prior to making the soup if you had made the stock one day in advance) add 1 cup of dried white beans to another pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and let stand for one hour. Drain water and reserve beans.
In the pot that was used to pre-cook the beans, add the oil, chopped onion, garlic, rosemary and sauté until the onion is soft – about 4 minutes. Add the reserved stock, beans, Parmesan rind and bay leaves and simmer covered for 50 minutes, until the beans are cooked through. Then add the kale, the diced carrots, and turkey. Mix through and simmer for 15-20 minutes uncovered. Discard bay leaves and Parmesan rind and serve.
Turkey-White Bean Soup with Kale
½ turkey breast about 2.25-2.5 pounds with bone and skin
2 turkey necks
2 onions quartered
3 carrots peeled and cut into thirds
4 celery ribs cut into thirds
1 teaspoon ground pepper (or ground using pestle and mortar for a coarse grind)
I teaspoon kosher salt
10 cups of water
1 onion diced
2 garlic cloves grated or finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons EVOO
1 cup of dried white beans – cannelloni or navy beans will do
Parmesan cheese rind – about 3” x 2”
2 large bay leaves or 3 small ones
1 10 oz bag of kale
4 carrots, peeled and diced
3 cups turkey – cut into 3/4” pieces
To make the stock, add all ingredients to a stockpot, bring to simmer and cook covered for an hour. Remove turkey breast and discard all other solids and reserve stock. Cut turkey into ¾” pieces and discard the skin and carcass. If making one day ahead, reserve the stock and turkey pieces separately. Remove the stock from the refrigerator and skim the fat
Prepare beans using the quick soak method by adding1 cup of dry white beans to a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and let stand for one hour. Drain water and reserve beans.
To make the soup, add the oil, chopped onion, garlic, rosemary and sauté until the onion is soft – about 4 minutes. Add the reserved stock, beans, Parmesan rind and bay leaves and simmer covered for 50 minutes, until the beans are cooked through. Then add the kale, the diced carrots, and turkey. Mix through and simmer for 15-20 minutes uncovered. Discard bay leaves and Parmesan rind and serve.
Makes 8-10 servings