Here at the log house, my husband Ted and I prepared to face Hurricane Sandy and the sure-to-follow days without electricity. We loaded up on bottled water and batteries, cat food and cat litter. We brought the light-weight porch furniture indoors. We washed the laundry and ran the dishwasher, put the car in the barn, filled a large thermos with coffee, and charged cell phones and laptops. And I cooked, and cooked, and cooked, to turn as much perishable food as possible into freezer meals that could last a few days, even without power. This turkey soup began as an unpremeditated "fridge dump", but as I went along, I kept good notes. Thank heavens for that, because this is a soup I want to make again, deliberately, and often. (In fact, as soon as our power was restored, I made my second batch, just as good as the first.) I used my slow cooker, but you can make it in a Dutch oven on the stove-top; the recipe includes instructions for both cooking methods.
Hurricane turkey "fridge dump" soup
From the pantry, you'll need: ground turkey, chicken sausage, onion, garlic, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, canned chopped tomato, chicken broth (homemade or store-bought), Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
2 Tbsp olive oil
2-1/2 lbs ground turkey (I use 93% fat-free)
12 oz chicken sausage (I use sun-dried tomato and basil, or roasted garlic flavor), sliced
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tbsp dried thyme leaf
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 cup brown lentils
1 cup canned chopped tomato
3 cups chicken broth, homemade or low-sodium store-bought
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 cups spinach or chopped kale
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus extra for serving
In a large nonstick frying pan, heat the oil, and over medium heat cook the turkey until it is no longer pink. Add the sausage, and sauté until the sausage begins to brown. Stir in the onion, and cook until the onion is translucent, 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic, and sauté for 1 minute more.
Slow cooker method: Add the turkey mixture to a 5- or 6-quart slow cooker. Stir in the thyme, oregano, bay leaf, lentils, tomato, chicken broth and mustard. Set the cooker to LOW and cook for 6 hours.
Then, add the balsamic vinegar, spinach or kale, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Taste, and season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper, as needed.
Stove-top method: Transfer the turkey mixture to a heavy Dutch oven or stock pot. Stir in the thyme, oregano, bay leaf, lentils, tomato, chicken broth and mustard. Increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Then, reduce heat to simmer; cover the pot, and cook for 1 hour, checking every now and then to make sure there is enough liquid to keep the lentils from sticking. If you need more liquid, add water, 1/2 cup at a time.
When the lentils are cooked, add the balsamic vinegar, spinach or kale, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Taste, and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
Serve hot, garnished with additional cheese. If you wish, you can serve this soup over brown rice or pasta.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Turkey escarole soup
Slow cooker lentils with chicken sausage, spinach and feta cheese
Lentil noodle soup
Turkey and white bean chili
Greek lentil soup with red pepper and feta
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Kicked up turkey meatloaf, from Eat Live Run
Lentil and sausage stew, from Budget Bytes
Lentil soup with Italian sausage and roasted red peppers, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Sausage and lentil slow cooker stew, from A Year of Slow Cooking
Moosewood's Turkish lentil and spinach soup, from Lisa's Kitchen
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