It’s 43 degrees today (yesterday was humid and almost 80) and soup is on my mind. I’ve made a variation of Tuscan Kale Soup before, but *this* one was outstanding – flavorful, comforting, bright, nourishing and healthy – and EASY. With flavors even better the second and third day, this Comforting Tuscan Kale Soup is sure to make it into your meal rotation.
I could write about what I love about all the seasons. Fall is no exception. When the temperature starts to drop, it becomes cozy sweater and soup-making weather. Personally, I enjoy soup year-round – more broth in warmer months, and more “stuff” in cooler months – but what I love about soup is that putting together meals gets a little easier for me. With the right set of staple ingredients on hand that do double duty across a range of recipes, putting together soup requires minimal prep and it pretty much cooks itself.
See below for Ingredients, Directions, Variations and no-waste and pantry tips on this Comforting Tuscan Kale Soup. I also created a pinnable image that you can save with the main points of the recipe!
There’s a special joy with creating something delicious from pantry basics you already have. Whether you’re starting out looking for easy recipes, or have been cooking for years, here are a few awesome pantry basics that I always have on hand.
Pantry Basics in today’s recipe
- Dorot Gardens crushed garlic cubes – 1 clove portions of crushed garlic, I find mine in the frozen aisle at Trader Joe’s
- boxes of organic chicken broth
- good quality evoo – extra virgin olive oil (as a finishing touch)
- grapeseed oil (great option for cooking on higher heat)
- tube of tomato paste (versatile, keeps well in the fridge, no mess)
- McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Spice blend (I find mine at my local large grocery store, like Safeway, Stop & Shop, Ralphs, Harris Teeter. The major flavor players in this blend are: garlic, onion, salt, red pepper, orange peel, paprika, green bell pepper, lemon juice.)
Comforting Tuscan Kale Soup Recipe
Enjoy this healthy and nourishing dish made with simple, nutritious ingredients, featuring: lean protein from lean turkey and beans, low carb, fiber and vitamins from organic leafy greens and cherry tomatoes. You will also need
You will also need:
- 5 quart or greater sized stock pot or dutch oven
- 1 large cooking pan
- 1 pound ground turkey (I like to use the ones that are mostly fat-free)
- Grapeseed oil or cooking oil (oil that can handle heat properly – not all can!)
- 2 tsp salt
- 4 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Spice (I’ve been able to find it at most large grocery stores. Alternate: salt and pepper seasoning blend of your choosing.)
- 2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves crushed garlic (I always have the Dorot frozen garlic cubes, already in their clove portion sizes – super easy!)
- 1 can white cannelloni beans, washed and drained
- 1 bag organic kale, massaged, and ripped into small (~1 inch) pieces
- 48+32 oz organic chicken broth (at minimum)
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste (or, ~5 squirts of a tube of tomato paste – I love these because they keep well in the fridge, and are super easy to use!)
- 1 pint of cherry tomatoes (No Waste Tip: if you’ve forgotten about your cherry tomatoes and they start to wrinkle a bit, you can still use them in a soup for rich flavor! They’re good for you too – cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene.)
- 2 cups of orzo
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- a couple sprigs of rosemary – fresh is best, dry works fine
- lemon (zest of 1/2 lemon)
Notes: 20 min prep, 30 min cook (minimum – you can enjoy it after 30 min, but it tastes even better slow cooking and reheating!)
Makes 4 quarts of soup.
- Empty chicken broth into your stock pot, and gently heat on low-medium.
- Finely chop 1 red onion.
- Next, start with about 3 tablespoons of grapeseed oil and sauté red onions until they start to soften and are coated lightly with the oil. Add in 3 cloves of crushed garlic.
- Now, brown the ground turkey in the pan with the red onion and garlic. Add in ground turkey, and break into small meatball sized chunks. If meat starts to dry out or stick, add grapeseed oil by tablespoon until resolved.
- Season with salt, seasoning blend, Italian seasonings. Allow meat to brown, then cover and continue to cook for about 5-8 minutes.
- Wash a bag of kale in a colander, and while the water is running, massage the kale to break down the fibers with your hands, and rip them into small pieces about 1 inch.
- Add kale into soup stock pot.
- Wash and drain can of white cannelloni beans and set aside.
- Wash cherry tomatoes and set aside.
- Add cooked and seasoned ground turkey with red onion and garlic into the soup stock pot.
- Add kale, cannelloni beans, cherry tomatoes into soup stock pot. Cover and cook on medium heat for at least 30 min.
- Make a lemon and rosemary infused finishing oil – this simple yet subtle element brightens and truly finishes the soup with flair. Add ~3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to a container you might use for a homemade vinaigrette if you have one, or a small ramekin sized dish. zest a half a lemon and add in along with rosemary. Cover and let sit and infuse!
- About 10 minutes from when you plan to first serve the soup (I won’t blame you if you don’t want to wait – it smells delicious) add in 2 cups of orzo.
- Serve steaming bowls of this comforting soup, and finish with a drizzle of the infused olive oil. Enjoy!
To thicken soup subtly without cornstarch, add a starchy food instead. I added orzo, and like that it has more substance than rice, and takes in the flavor of the soup well.
If you avoid gluten but want either a little more substance in your soup or thickness, instead of orzo, try adding rice, or diced potato.
Or, blend 2/3 cup of soup using a blender or immersion blender, and add it back in.
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