Hearty Turkey Bean Soup

Hearty Turkey Bean Soup

This time of year is like an uncomfortable limbo where we’re in full swing holiday mode (think: work cocktail parties, pumpkin spice lattes everywhere, and way too many baked goodies), but it’s just… not… quite… over yet. We keep telling ourselves, just make it through the next few weeks! 

Of course, we’re in the holiday spirit just as much as all of you, but our job is to continue inspiring you to eat healthfully during this tricky time of year so that you can keep your immune system up, continue feeling energetic, and be confident in your mind and body.

This recipe hopefully does all of those things. It’s a pretty quick dish that you can make in big batches and freeze for lunches or other meals later this winter when you’re hibernating from the kitchen. It’s nutrient dense and full of lean protein and fiber, which gives you long lasting energy throughout the day. You’ll feel good while you’re eating it because it’s warming, nourishing, and low in calories (about 480 per serving), yet satiating at the same time.

Another bonus — if you have leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in your freezer or are ABOUT to have leftover turkey from your next holiday meal (T minus 12 days, folks: is your xmas shopping done yet?), use it in this soup!!!!

Ingredients:

4 servings
2 Tbs. olive or avocado oil (see note below)
1 small yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 Tbs. garlic paste)
1 jalapeño
1 green bell pepper
4-5 medium carrots
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. oregano
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (with the liquid)
¼ cup tomato paste
5 cups chicken or veggie broth
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 lb. shredded turkey meat; dark and light meat (4 cups)*
Optional toppings: sliced green onion and optional sour cream or cashew cream

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Directions: 

  1. Prep the veggies. Peel and dice the onion. Rinse the the jalapeño and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the white pith and seeds, then mince. Rinse the green bell pepper and cut in half lengthwise. Remove the white pith and seeds, then dice. Wash the carrots and cut off the ends. Cut in half, when dice.
  2. Heat a heavy bottom soup pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oil then the onions. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions begin to turn translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, jalapeño, green bell pepper, and carrots. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, mixing several times.
  4. Add the seasonings next: the cumin, chili powder, oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper. Mix together and cook for another minute.
  5. Mix in the can of diced tomatoes and tomato paste so everything is combined, then add the broth and beans. Bring to a low simmer, then reduce heat to medium.
  6. Simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes, then add the cooked turkey meat. Check that the veggies are fully soft and season with more salt as desired. Remove from heat.
  7. Serve with an easy salad, steamed broccoli, or any other veggie side dish.

*If you don’t have leftover turkey meat, you can make the same soup using 1 lb. of cooked rotisserie chicken. Many grocery stores sell whole cooked organic chickens; remove the meat from the bones, shred with your hands, and measure out 4 cups for this recipe.

*OR use 1 lb. of lean ground (uncooked) turkey breast instead. Follow steps #1 and #2, then add the meat along with the other veggies during step #3. The meat should be partially cooked before continuing with the rest of the directions.

Why are we using avocado oil to to cook with?

While frying anything in liquid-at-room-temperature oils can damage the molecular structure and in turn damage your health, avocado oil actually has a higher “smoke point” than many other oils, including olive oil. The smoke point of an oil is the temperature at which the oil visibly beings to smoke in a your pan. When this happens, the fat becomes oxidized and damaged which can wreak havoc in your body when you consume it. We usually use broth to sauté with (no damaged oils there!) or coconut oil (much higher smoke point!), but avocado oil is also an acceptable alternative. Plus, we don’t always like the taste of coconut oil if it doesn’t go with the dish. Bottom line: get healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and essential fatty acids in their undamaged form and try to minimize cooking in liquid vegetables oils as much as possible.
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