Beautiful Soup

    “Shall we try another figure of the Lobster Quadrille?” the Gryphon went on. “Or would you like the Mock Turtle to sing you another song?”

    "Oh, a song, please, if the Mock Turtle would be so kind,” Alice replied, so eagerly that the Gryphon said, in a rather offended tone, “Hm! No accounting for tastes! Sing her 'Turtle Soup,' will you, old fellow?”

    The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and began, in a voice choked with sobs, to sing this:—

      “Beautiful Soup, so rich and green,
      Waiting in a hot tureen!
      Who for such dainties would not stoop?
      Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
      Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup!
      Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
      Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
      Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,
      Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

      “Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
      Game, or any other dish?
      Who would not give all else for two
      Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
      Pennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
      Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
      Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
      Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,
      Beautiful, beauti—FUL SOUP!”

    -from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

The Mock Turtle is right. Soup is a truly lovely comfort food and now is definitely the time for comfort food. The holidays are over. The winter chill has set in for the long haul. Everything seems a bit deflated and quiet. Now is the time to curl up with a bowl like this and find a way to defy the post-holiday blues:

This soup is the result of leftover turkey, my favorite turkey stock, a can of white beans, a can of diced tomatoes, and some random vegetables that didn't get used up during the recent rush of entertaining. Put together and given a little time to get to know one another in a slow cooker, a beautifully balanced bowl of soup emerges.

The particular ingredients in this soup are less important than the idea behind blending them. Don't have turkey stock? Use chicken broth. No kale? Spinach will work well. Prefer a different kind of bean? Go for it. Serve it with crackers or crusty bread and maybe a sprinkling of freshly grated parmesan cheese. After a couple of months of fussy food and entertaining, this recipe is about catering to you and doing it without using all of your time. Maybe that bit of time after the holidays is just what you need after all!

Turkey-Kale-White Bean Soup

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups turkey stock
  • 1.5 cups diced turkey
  • 1 - 14.5 ounce can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 - 15.5 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2/3 c. chopped celeriac or 1/3 c. chopped celery
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups chopped kale

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about four to five minutes or until the onions are translucent. Add them and the oil they were cooked in to a slow cooker.

Add the turkey stock, turkey, tomatoes, beans, salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf to the slow cooker. Turn the slow cooker on LOW and simmer for 4 hours.

Add the kale to the slow cooker about 30 minutes before you are ready to serve the soup. When the kale is wilted and bright green, ladle the soup into bowls and serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes hand-on time, plus 4 hours of cooking time