Soup is a definite comfort food. When nothing else appeals, a bowl of soup always seems to satisfy. As it simmers, the aroma alone perks up the appetite. Our soup encases oodles of vegetables and iron-rich kale, plus an umami kick from Parmesan rind and a fulfilling protein hit from ground turkey. Make a huge pot—and freeze for fabulous leftovers.
1 lb (450 g) ground turkey, thigh and breast meat
1/4 tsp (1 mL) onion powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground white pepper
2 Tbsp (30 mL) grapeseed oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 large carrots, scraped and diced
2 celery stalks, diced
4 large garlic cloves, smashed and minced
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable stock or water
28 oz (796 mL) can plum tomatoes, including juice
2 in (5 cm) piece of Parmesan rind
1/4 cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley
2 tsp (10 mL) minced fresh rosemary
2 fresh thyme sprigs
Generous pinch of crushed dried red chilies
14 oz (398 mL) can cannellini or white navy beans, rinsed and drained
4 cups (1 L) chiffonade of kale leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
Fresh cilantro, for garnish
In bowl, combine ground turkey, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Work mixture together with your fingers until blended. Refrigerate.
In large, heavy saucepan, heat oil. Add onion, carrots, and celery and sauté until soft. Add garlic and sauté for a couple more minutes, until aromatic. Do not burn.
Add a splash of water if necessary.
Add stock and canned tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with fork. Add Parmesan rind, herbs, and crushed chilies. Stir to blend. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat. Cook for about 30 minutes to fully blend flavours. Stir and sift out thyme stems.
Pinch pieces of ground turkey meat with your fingers and drop into simmering soup. Gently stir, cover, and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes. Add beans and kale to soup; cover and continue to cook until beans are hot and kale has slightly wilted. Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed. Remove Parmesan rind and discard.
Flavours in soup are enhanced when refrigerated overnight. When ready to serve, jazz it up with a poof of cilantro and a crisp Parmesan wafer. (See tip)
Tip: Making your own Parmesan wafers is altogether too easy. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Place heaping tablespoon (15 mL) of coarsely grated Parmesan onto parchment-lined baking sheet and gently pat down. Repeat, leaving a couple inches (5 cm) between mounds. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes until melted and golden. Wafers harden as they cool.