How can a woman be expected to name a favorite from among her children? Impossible, isn't it? And yet... and yet... I have to say that this turkey soup, packed with dark leafy greens, chewy fregula sarda and peppery Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, is my new favorite soup. It's a near-perfect balance of protein, pasta, vegetables and cheese -- the four food groups of soup! Substitute freely: ground beef, pork or chicken for turkey; kale or chard for escarole; Israeli couscous for fregula sarda; vegetable broth for chicken broth. Make a big batch and portion some out for the freezer, where you'll be glad to find it on a cold winter day.
Turkey soup with dark leafy greens
2 tsp olive oil
1-1/4 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 tsp mild red pepper flakes, or more to taste
1 head escarole, trimmed, chopped and washed (do not dry)
8 oz fresh spinach leaves, washed (do not dry)
4 cups homemade or low-sodium store-bought chicken stock or broth (I like Swanson 99% fat-free)
1 piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind (optional)
1/2 cup fregula sarda (or orzo, or couscous)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste
In a Dutch oven or heavy stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the turkey, and cook, stirring frequently, until the meat is no longer pink. Stir in the onions and garlic, and sauté until the onions are translucent, 2 minutes. Toss in the red pepper flakes.
Add the washed escarole, with any water that clings to it, into the pot, stirring to wilt the greens slightly. After the escarole is all in the pot, begin adding the spinach, in batches if necessary, and stir to let the heat wilt the greens.
Pour in the chicken stock plus 2 cups of water.
Add the cheese rind.
Raise the heat to high, and bring the soup to a boil. Then, reduce heat to simmer. Stir in the fregula sarda. Simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes, until the fregula is cooked.
Stir in most of the grated cheese, reserving a little of the cheese for garnish. Taste, and adjust the seasoning if necessary with kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
Serve hot. Can be made ahead and frozen.
More dark leafy greens for dark winter nights:
Slow cooker lentils with chicken sausage, spinach and feta
Saag aloo/potatoes with spiced spinach
Brussels and broccoli with maple mustard vinaigrette
Kale, mushroom and caramelized onion breakfast casserole
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Tortellini soup with escarole and zucchini, from Soup Chick
White bean escarole soup with turkey meatballs, from Blue Kitchen
Wilted escarole salad with kohlrabi, radish, lemon, and parmesan, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Barley risotto with beans and greens, from Smitten Kitchen
Butternut squash salad with escarole, from Eclectic Recipes
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