This Herby Turkey Greens And Beans Soup has tons of protein and lots of healthy greens and herbs… who could ask for anything more?
It’s winter here in New York, but spring is on the way. I can feel it. It’s that weird time of year when it can be snowing, freezing, and windy one day and then springlike the next day. With these warmer days and it now staying light outside until a whopping 5:30pm, spring is in the air. But it’s still soup season. Okay, it’s always soup season here, but this soup really does take both spring and winter into account.
To me, winter means soup. Hot comforting soup. It also means blankets on the couch in front of the fireplace and Netflix. Add a cozy bowl of soup to that picture and that’s movie-like to me.
Spring means fresh herbs. It also means the fresh smell of morning dew and new beginnings. Add a bowl of this delicious soup and a good book, and that’s also perfection to me.
So, this is the perfect seasonal soup for this weirdo of a season.
It’s also the perfect nutritional mix. It’s got turkey and beans for protein. It’s got tons of leafy greens for… well, everything. And to make it the best soup ever, it’s got a whole boatload of fresh herbs. Soup is the perfect dish to experiment with and make it however you like it. So, just because I used turkey, it doesn’t mean you need to use turkey. I have also made this with ground chicken. And I’m sure lamb would be so awesome. And just because I used collard greens and kale, again, you do you. Chard would be great here as well. Or mustard greens — any green that’s kind of sturdy will do. That being said, wilty soft spinach sound pretty good too…
My favorite part of this recipe, the thing that truly makes it extra special is the huge amount of fresh herbs that we add at the end. So fresh, so delicious, so healing. I used dill because I love the taste. I also used parsley. Again, at the risk of repeating myself, have it your way.
I need to give credit to The New York Times for the original recipe. That’s where I got the idea to really cram all those herbs into this Herby Turkey Beans And Greens Soup; it’s a genius idea.
Here’s your challenge: Every single time you cook a big pot of anything, add as many leafy greens and fresh herbs as you can. They make everything better.
This recipe has a lot of healing ingredients:
Turkey is a healthy meat. Make sure you buy organic turkey whenever possible. Recent research has shown turkey helps lower the risk of pancreatic cancer; however I did read some research that suggests that if you eat the skin along with the meat, some of this value is reduced, so don’t eat too much skin — this recipe uses ground turkey so it has no skin involved… Turkey also has a great protein-to-fat ratio, so it keeps you feeling full with less potential for weight gain. It’s also rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin B and selenium. And, in Chinese medicine, turkey is thought of as a qi-booster, so it can be good for low energy levels.
White beans are good at boosting energy and calming the mind. They can help improve your memory and can lower cholesterol. And, they are a great source of protein.
Kale is everywhere these days. And there’s a lot of mixed reviews on whether it’s worth the hype. I like to use it sometimes, but not in every recipe. This dark leafy green is a great source of fiber and calcium. It’s also rich in many minerals, including magnesium, iron and potassium. One serving contains 200% of the daily requirements of Vitamin C and 180% of Vitamin A.
Collard greens are great for you. They help build strong bones, lessen constipation, help reduce stress and act as a detoxifying food. They have almost no calories but do have a lot of fiber. They contain vitamins A, C, and K and are filled with minerals like calcium and manganese. One of the best things about collards is that they are great at preventing the buildup of bad cholesterol.
Dill is considered a chemoprotective in that it can help neutralize some carcinogens. It also helps fight bacteria in the body.
Parsley has been shown to reduce tumors in the lungs and to neutralize the effects of carcinogens, including cigarette smoke. It is high in vitamins A and C, and is good for your heart. This herb is also a natural breath freshener. So, if you have a chance to use more than a few sprigs as a garnish, go for it.
Garlic is amazing in its antiviral and antibacterial capabilities. Garlic is actually a Chinese herb (Da Suan). It’s used to kill toxins and parasites and also to reduce swelling in the body. It’s what I call a great “A” herb: anesthetic, antibacterial, anti fungal, antioxidant, antiviral, etc.
Bone broth is filled with bone marrow and essential fatty acids — these things promote optimal brain health. It also contains glycine, which is an amino acid that helps with memory, concentration, stress, and focus. The glucosamine in bone broth can reduce inflammation and strengthen the bones. It’s also great for your skin, hair, and nails. This is a great thing to use for a quick soup base, or to just sip on during the day.
- 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 med onions, chopped
- 2 med carrots, peeled and chopped
- salt and pepper
- 2 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- big pinch dried hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 10 smashed garlic cloves
- 1 lb ground turkey
- 6 cups bone broth
- 3 15-oz cans white beans
- 1 bunch black kale, thick stems/veins removed and discarded, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 bunch collard greens, thick stems/veins removed and discarded, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 cup fresh dill, chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped
- juice of 1 lemon
- In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil over med heat.
- Add the onions and carrots and a sprinkle of salt and cook, stirring often, about 8 minutes, or until slightly softened.
- Add the turkey, seasoned with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the meat until the turkey starts to get some color, about 7 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, cumin, red pepper flakes, chili powder, and garlic cloves. Cook stirring, about 5 minutes.
- Add bone broth and beans. Cook, uncovered, 20 minutes.
- Add leafy greens and cook another 15 minutes or until the collards are softened.
- Stir in fresh herbs and cook another 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice.
- Ladle into bowls and enjoy!