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White Bean, Turkey & Kale Soup

Here’s the deal. I really hate planning things out in advance. I’m not the best at packing ahead for trips, setting up a weekly menu for myself, or even getting a grocery list together before I get to Whole Foods. Of course the last one might be a bit on purpose, since I like having an excuse to get a tea and stare at the cute baristas while I gather my thoughts.

Planning dinner for myself is usually on a whim or in order to satisfy some craving I am having at the moment. Which is sort of how this face off came about. Standing in my kitchen around noon, looking in my fridge and saw some kale that was on the verge of being unusable, then looked out my window at the  snow and wind. Soup was the first thing that came to my mind. Searching through my cabinets, I found all the ingredients needed, and started soaking some beans and pulled out a pound of frozen ground turkey.

I went back to working, and at the end of the day, began to make my soup. I got the onions, garlic and spices together, started sauteing and then simmering. About 30 minutes later, the turkey was being browned. The smell of the fresh rosemary and the turkey cooking with the Italian herbs was like a punch in the face. I couldn’t wait till everything was together and ready to eat. When done, and in a large soup bowl, I settled down and enjoyed my dinner.

Since I made the full recipe, I had a lot left over. All of it went to into a few large ball jars, one in the fridge, and two in the freezer for a future soup night. Like Susan said, this is a really versatile recipe. Add carrots, tomatoes, pasta, and warm up with a filling and satisfying bowl of soup.

Soup in Progress White Bean, Turkey & Kale Soup

White Bean, Turkey & Kale Soup

Adapted from

6 generous servings, or 8 smaller servings

2 tbsp olive oil, separated
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 tbsp chopped rosemary
1 bay leaf
5 c chicken stock
1 – 3 c water, for thinning out
1 lb white beans – I used dried cannellini, but you can use great northern or navy beans
1 lb ground turkey
1 tbsp of Italian herbs
4 c kale – I used curly, but really any can be used
Salt & Pepper

Rinse and sort the beans. Place into a large dutch oven and cover with 8 c of water. Bring to a boil, wait about 2 minutes, then turn off the heat, cover the beans and let sit for about 1 hour. After an hour, drain and rise the beans and put back into the large dutch oven.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat until shinny, and then add the garlic, onion and shallots. Cook until translucent, stirring frequently to make sure they don’t burn. After about 5 minutes, add the beans, stock, along with the rosemary and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Let simmer uncovered for about 50 minute to an hour, until the beans are tender.

While soup is simmering, cook the sausage. Brown in a large heavy bottom pan, season with 1 tbsp of Italian herbs. Cook in batches if neccesary and drain on a paper towel.

Once the beans are done, add the sausage and kale to the beans and broth, and water if the soup needs to be thinned out. Cook until the kale starts to wilt a bit, about 3 minutes. Season to taste.

Serve with bread, topped with grated parm cheese if you want.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. A Table in the Sun #

    I love kale soup. Your recipe sounds so warm and inviting. There’s a storm on the way, so I’d better put the soup pot on.

    February 21, 2013

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  1. White Bean & Kale Soup Face Off | Fried Tofu

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