An Italian American who loves to share food and travel adventures
Swap A Soup For Supper – Italian Turkey Bean Spinach Soup
January 15, 2019
It doesn’t have to be a major holiday to cook a turkey in our house. Although I must admit I prefer a whole turkey breast by Butterball or like brand when I don’t have to present a beautiful golden whole turkey to a table full of dinner guests. A turkey breast gives us the meat of the turkey we enjoy most. I know, I know, there are the dark turkey meat lovers out there, and I don’t mean to offend. I’m just saying it works for us occasionally when I don’t want all the appendages (legs, wings, thighs). I just want to use the breasts. Okay?
A whole turkey breast fits nicely in a crockpot and can be left to cook away with no fuss, and it comes out juicy and delicious. And of course there are leftovers after the main meals have been eaten, the meat sliced for sandwiches, ground up for turkey balls or whatever other uses you repurpose the turkey into. But a favorite, at least in our house, is turkey soup.
A bountiful mouthful of savory flavors, a hardy soup, not heavy, at least the way I make it with this recipe.
This soup can be made with convenient store-bought ingredients (canned tomatoes, beans, stock, and dried spices) or with fresh vegetables, beans, and spices harvested from your garden. If I’m not growing the beans I’m using in soups (or it’s winter months when the garden is taking a rest) I like to use dried beans and reconstitute them for soups such as this. They are much more cost effective and can take on fabulous flavors from the liquids they are reconstituted in such as flavored stocks, wine or beer or juices.
Spinach is added toward the end to wilt it into the liquid.
1 (15.8 ounce) can Italian cannellini beans*, drained and rinsed
8 ounces spinach
3 cups turkey stock saved from cooking turkey OR chicken broth
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese**, grated (plus extra for garnish)
1 cup water (if needed
1/2 cup wine
1/2 cup scarlet runner beans, or additional beans of your choice
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Brown the the onions, garlic, and red pepper until the onions are translucent (about 2-3 minutes).
Add the seasonings: black pepper, oregano, basil, thyme. Stir into onion mixture.
Pour tomatoes (with liquid), cut up or shredded turkey, and beans to the pot. Stir to combine.
Reduce heat to medium-low, add spinach and cover for about 2 minutes or until spinach is wilted.
Add broth, wine, (water if you want a soupier consistency) stir, and increase heat to medium. Continue to cook until heated through – about 5-10 minutes.
Remove from heat, add parmesan and serve.
*Any type of white bean can be substituted for cannellini beans - navy beans if you prefer. In today's post I also added scarlet runner beans from our garden. Choose one or more beans to add a robust hardy flavor to this soup.
**I often have the outer edge or rind of parmesan cheese that I will cut up and toss into a soup to add flavor, remove it before serving and then just garnish with grated parmesan.