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Author Notes: This is an Italian peasant soup traditionally made with only vegetables and stale bread. I added ground turkey but it certainly isn't necessary....I've heard that if a wooden spoon can stand straight up in the pot, the soup is done. It gets better after a day or two so if you're not serving the masses you'll have plenty of leftovers —inpatskitchen
Makes about 7 quarts and serves a crowd
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground turkey (optional)
- 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
- 2 carrots cut in thirds
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 1 cup parsley
- 6 to 8 garlic cloves
- 2 strips bacon, cut in thirds
- 1 14.5 ounce can tomatoes
- 1 12 ounce can tomato juice
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
- 5 cups chicken broth
- 5 cups water
- 1 14 to 15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained
- 2 14 to 15 ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 5 cups chopped cabbage
- 4 cups chopped fresh spinach
- 1 cup small, dry pasta
- 4 slices stale white bread, crusts removed
- additional salt and pepper to taste
- In at least an 8 quart soup pot, brown the ground turkey in the olive oil if using. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- Place the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley and bacon in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is a little finer than a dice.
- Place the mixture in the soup pot and saute until the mixture softens a bit. ( If you aren't using ground turkey, add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil here for the saute )
- Add the turkey, salt, black pepper, red pepper, fennel seed, oregano and basil to the pot. Stir and add the tomatoes and tomato juice.
- Add the broth and water, bring the mixture up to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, chick peas and cannellini beans and simmer another 10 minutes.
- Add the pasta and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- Tear the bread in pieces and add along with the spinach leaves. Simmer until the spinach wilts. Re-season with salt and pepper if needed.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dinner That Makes a Good Lunch
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cheap Feast
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Stale Bread
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner
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