Tag Archives: soup

Louisiana Style Soup

During the summer months I often have a taste for gumbo or jambalaya but those dishes can be a little heavy. So, to compensate and satisfy my taste buds, I will make a Louisiana Style Soup in warmer weather. This soup is much lighter than gumbo or jambalaya but it has similar flavors.

Creole food is the soul food of the south mid-west. Creole cooking is a blend of French, Spanish, Caribbean, West African, Portuguese and several other country cuisines. While Cajun dishes originate from a style of cooking by French speaking Acadians that were exiled to Louisiana. (a partial history lesson). Many people think there is no difference between Creole and Cajun foods but there really is a difference. The biggest difference is that Creole cuisines use tomatoes in most dishes while Cajun cuisines do not. Another difference is how each prepares a roux or thickening for dishes like jambalaya. A Creole roux is made with butter and flour while a Cajun roux is made with oil and flour. It may not sound like a big difference but it is when you are talking about flavors.

One more interesting tidbit about Creole vs. Cajun dishes is that Creole cooking is considered “city” food while Cajun cooking is considered “country” food. Hmmm… that may explain why hubby really likes Creole cooking while I enjoy Cajun foods. He is more of a city boy who loves tomatoes while I am a country girl at heart who just loves food.

Louisiana Style Soup

Ingredients:

1 pkg spicy ground sausage

1 cup frozen okra

1 cup frozen baby lima beans

1 cup corn cut off the cob or frozen corn

1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes

2 scallions diced

1 celery stalk diced

1 small green pepper diced

1 small white onion diced

2 cups chicken broth

2 cups water

1 tbsp tomato paste

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp ground ginger

Brown spicy ground sausage in a large pot over medium heat. Remove from pot and drain on paper towels. Add butter to the pan along with green pepper, celery and onion. Season with salt and black pepper then saute for a few minutes until vegetables soften.

Add remaining ingredients to the pot along with sausage. Stir to blend then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 to 45 minutes. Serve with rice or top with garlic croutons.

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White Bean Chicken Soup

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OMGoodness! It is COLD today so what better time to make a big pot of soup. That is exactly what I said to myself on the way to Trader Joe’s to pick up a few items for dinner. I might not have felt so chilled if I had cranked up the heat in the car but that still would not have warmed me on the inside. To make that happen I needed a nice bowl of homemade soup.

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My choice was either chicken noodle soup or a White Bean Chicken soup. I planned to have spaghetti the next day for dinner so chicken noodle soup was out and White Bean Chicken soup was in. Keep in mind I did not have a recipe for White Bean Chicken soup but not having an actual recipe has never stopped me from cooking. So, while strolling the aisles of Trader Joe’s I made up the recipe that would become “the soup”.

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Most soups are pretty easy to make. They are a one pot dish that only needs a little tender love and care and lots of seasoning. Because it was freezing outside I was in the mood for a healthy, hearty soup. I figured the white beans and chicken would make it hearty plus filling with lots of protein while the mirepoix and cabbage would make it healthy. Did I just hear someone say what the heck is mirepoix? Yes, I did. It was my hubby. He asked me this question while I was writing down the recipe when I got home. I was talking out loud to myself trying to remember how to spell mirepoix and hubby asked “What the heck is that?” When I told him it was diced carrots, onions and celery he said “Why don’t you just say that?” My response was I wanted to sound fancy like the chefs on TV. I know. It is always better to keep it simple.

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Simply put, White Bean Chicken Soup is comfort food. Whether it is freezing cold outside or you want a flavorful homemade meal in a bowl, this soup will do the trick.

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White Bean Chicken Soup

 Ingredients:

3 cans cannellini beans rinsed

1pkg sliced pepper chicken

1 container mirepoix (diced onions, celery and carrots)

6 cups low sodium chicken broth

2 cups chopped cabbage

¼ cup heavy cream

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

½ tbsp Adobo

1 tsp thyme

½ tsp garlic powder

1 tsp parsley

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp lemon pepper

Shred chicken and set aside. Mash ½ cup of white beans (this will help soup to thicken) and set aside with remaining beans.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add mirepoix and seasonings to the pot and stir. Allow the vegetables to sweat for 3 – 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and add white beans then stir. Reduce heat to medium. Mix a spoonful of broth into the measured heavy cream. Add the mixture to the pot. Stir and let simmer 3 minutes.

Place chicken in the pot and stir. Cook for 20 minutes then add chopped cabbage. Stir to mix in the cabbage. Simmer for an additional 20 minutes until cabbage is softened and cooked through. Serve with crackers or crusty bread.

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Tomato Soup

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My Tomato Soup is not like your popular brand of canned tomato soup. It is much better. At least that is what my hubby thinks. After eating two bowls of my Tomato Soup he proclaimed it was the best soup I had made to date and he enjoys all of my homemade soups.

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Using a combination of fresh and canned tomatoes makes this soup tasty and gives it texture. I like smooth soups but I also enjoy soups with a little texture which lets you know what kind of soup you are eating.

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A good test of whether or not a soup is blog worthy for me is if I want to dip a sandwich into it. At the very least, a good test is if I want to take that last piece of bread and run it around the bowl to get every last bit of soup. By those standards this soup was fantastic! Not only did I dip my sandwich into it, I licked my fingers to get the few drops that landed there after dipping. Yum! Yum!

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Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

6 large vine ripened or plum tomatoes peeled

1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes

1 14 oz can spicy red tomatoes

2 scallions sliced

½ red onion sliced

½ white onion sliced

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup shaved Parmesan cheese

½ cup ½ and ½

¼ cup heavy cream

2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp seasoned salt

1 tbsp dried basil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried parsley

½ tsp lemon pepper

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp thyme

½ tsp onion powder

½ tsp dried dill weed

pinch of sugar.

Boil about 4 cups of water. Place fresh tomatoes in a large pot and pour boiling water over tomatoes for easy peeling.  Rough chop the tomatoes.

Place peeled tomatoes and all other ingredients except the Parmesan cheese, heavy cream and ½ and ½ into a large pot. Simmer over medium heat for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove from the heat. Use an immersion blender to blend soup until it is smooth but still has some texture. You can also place the tomato mixture into a blender to smooth out the veggies then place back into the pot.

Stir in heavy cream and ½ and ½. Place pot back on the heat and reduce heat to medium low. Add parmesan cheese to the pot and stir for 1 – 2 minutes until the cheese melts and is incorporated into the soup. Simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Serve with a nice crusty piece of bread to sop up all the tomato soup goodness!

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Lentil Stew

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Don’t ask me why but I have had lentils on my mind for the past week. I think it was because I wanted to make some red lentil soup and discovered I didn’t have any lentils. Since I usually find them at Trader Joe’s I had to wait until my weekend ritual of running errands to be on that side of town. Once I got to the store and spotted the red lentils I also spotted green lentils which made me think of a Lentil Stew. Again, I don’t know why.

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Sometimes my imagination kicks in and I just come up with ideas for combinations of food. For the Lentil Stew I thought of carrots, potatoes and tomatoes as the right combination of vegetables to add to the lentils to make a stew. Yes, a stew not a soup. To me, stews are a little heartier than a soup even more than those soups that are thick and packed with vegetables. Stews have a slightly different consistency than soups and are surrounded by a kind of gravy. In the case of Lentil Stew it makes its own gravy.

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Lentil Stew is the type of dish I would make during the winter or on chilly fall days. Granted, the day I first made this stew it was not really chilly but there was a nice gentle breeze. Now that I have tested out the recipe, I know what I will be preparing it quite often when the gentle breezes turn into strong cold winds.

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Lentil Stew

Ingredients:

1 pkg green lentils (soak overnight in cold water then drain)

½ cup red lentils (optional)

½ cup shredded carrots (slightly chop)

2 cans roasted diced tomatoes

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

2 small potatoes diced

2 scallions diced

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp minced garlic

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp basil

¼ tsp ground ginger

Add lentils and water to a large pot. Bring to a boil then cover and reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer while preparing vegetables.

In a large frying pan add olive oil and potatoes over medium high heat. Season potatoes with a little salt and pepper. Saute potatoes until slightly browned. Reduce heat to medium then add onions, carrots, tomatoes and remaining seasonings to the potatoes. Stir and allow veggies to soften. Add veggies and chicken broth to lentils and stir. Allow stew to simmer for 20 – 30 minutes until lentils are tender. Taste to determine if you need more salt. Add additional broth if stew is too thick.

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

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There are two foods I love to eat but until recently I never thought of putting them together into one recipe. I love eating apples and I really like butternut squash. Once I thought of combining them into a recipe I was on a roll. The first recipe I came up with was a Butternut Squash and Apple Soup. Soup seemed the most logical recipe to try since the day was crisp, cold and little windy. Days like that call out for soup and I just happen to have both butternut squash and granny smith apples on hand.

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Years ago squash was classified as either a winter squash or a summer squash. Butternut Squash is known as a winter squash because they are generally picked in the winter and have a thick skin. Summer squash is picked in the summer and has a delicate thin skin that is edible. During the summer months I love to make sauteed yellow squash with onions. I also like to make Zucchini and Tomatoes with onions. Both squashes have a thin skin and are wonderful when mixed with onions and/or tomatoes.

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Soup is very versatile which means you can toss almost any combination of vegetables together with a little broth and call it soup. This time around I tossed  veggies and fruit together and the result was delicious if I do say so myself. I have roasted butternut squash with apples in the oven to create a tasty side dish with turkey or pork so I imagined the combination might taste pretty good in soup. My imagination turned into reality which is always a thrill!

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Whether you decide to make this soup during the crisp days of fall or in the middle of summer I think you will be pleased. Soups fans enjoy soup no matter the season. Me? I am truly a fan of soup.

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Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Ingredients:

1 granny smith apple – peeled and sliced

1 lb butternut squash – peeled and cubed

1 small onion sliced

1 small red pepper sliced

1 scallion thinly sliced

3 slices bacon crumbled

2 cups chicken stock

½ cup half and half

¼ cup heavy cream

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp cinnamon

pinch nutmeg

cooking spray

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place squash, apples, onions and red pepper in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Toss gently to coat. Spread out on a rimmed cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.

Place in oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until squash and apples softened. Remove from oven and place in a large pot. Add chicken broth and simmer for 5 minutes until is heated up. Remove from heat. Blend using an immusion blender or place in a blender until smooth. Stir in half and half along with heavy cream. Place back on low heat for 5 to 10 minutes until soup thickens. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle crumbed bacon and scalllions on top.

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Kale and Sausage Soup

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Got leftover kale? Don’t throw it out. Whether it is from my Cannellini and Kale recipe, kale salad or some other kale dish you can turn it into a delicious soup. If you have been following my blog, you know I am a fan of soup. Creamy or brothy. I love soup any time of the year.

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Kale is one of those vegetables that has taken center stage in many kitchens whether at home or in restaurants. Kale has a beautiful vibrant green color and there are a few variations like common (curly) kale and Tuscan (Italian) kale and salad Savoy kale. The nutritional value is probably why kale has become so popular and can be prepared in multiple ways. Kale is a good source for protein, vitamin A, C and K. Plus, kale is considered to have cholesterol-lowering and cancer risk-lowering benefits.

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The other day I made kale as a side dish for dinner and had quite a bit leftover for the next day. I didn’t feel like eating it again as a side dish so I created a kale and sausage soup that was pretty tasty if I do say so myself. I think it helped that all of the seasonings I used in the kale the night before had a chance to meld together. Personally, I think soups, stews and certain other dishes taste better the next day just for this reason.

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The best part about making Kale and Sausage Soup is that half of the work is already done if you use leftovers. Add a few more ingredients and a tasty broth and you have a delicious meal or an appetizer to go with a delicious meal.

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Kale and Sausage Soup

Ingredients:

1 bunch of kale (stems removed) or 2 cups leftover kale

1 15 oz can small white beans (do not drain)

1 pkg chorizo sausage (casing removed)

2 cups chicken broth

1 cup water

1 cup fresh corn cut from the cob (scrap the cob) or 1 can of white corn strained

2 scallions sliced

1 small white onion diced

½ yellow pepper diced

4 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp thyme

¼ tsp cumin

Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add sausage. Break sausage with a spoon and brown. Remove from pot and drain on a paper towel. Pour off fat from sausage.

Add remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pot along with diced white onion and yellow pepper. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then saute until vegetables are softened. Add chicken broth, water and sausage to the pot and reduce heat to medium. Let soup simmer for 3 minutes. Add kale, and remaining seasonings. Stir and cook for an additional 10 minutes is using fresh kale and 5 minutes if using leftover kale. Stir in corn and scallions to the soup. Simmer for 3 minutes then turn off heat.

Serve with a slice of crusty bread or cornbread.

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Dee’s Veggie Soup

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My mom loves to make vegetable soup in the winter or if there is a slight chill in the air. I really like her vegetable soup but when I cannot get to her house I have to make my own soup. Usually, I make chicken corn chowder or some version of chicken noodle soup. Today, I thought I would try my hand at creating my own vegetable soup. Besides, it was a cold snowy day and I couldn’t get to my mom’s house.

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My version of vegetable soup (Dee’s Veggie Soup) did not include any meat. My mom uses ham or smoked meats to help season her soup. I wanted mine to be purely vegetarian. The natural sweetness of the vegetables along with a few choice seasonings gave the soup the punch of flavor I desired. As for the vegetables I used in the soup, they were both traditional and non-traditional. Like my mom I used tomatoes, onions and cut green beans. But, instead of adding celery and peas I used sliced fennel and kale. I also used a can of creamed corn to make the soup a little more savory.

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Dee’s Veggie Soup had several depths of flavor from the mix of vegetables and seasonings. I thought it was delicious and the soup definitely took the chill out of my bones. Hubby liked the soup too. Once he started dipping into his bowl of soup I don’t think he stopped until it was all gone. To me, that is one of the nicest compliments you can get when you cook.

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Dee’s Veggie Soup

Ingredients:
1 small fennel bulb sliced (white part only)
1 small bunch of curly kale chopped
1 small onion diced
1 ½ cups cut french green beans
1 14 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
1 14 oz can creamed corn
2 14 oz cans small white beans drained and rinsed
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp parsley (fresh or dried)
32 oz chicken stock
32 oz water

Place all ingredients except for kale into a large pot over medium heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add kale. Stir and simmer for an additional 30 to 45 minutes until kale is tender.

Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup

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Comfort food is good anytime of the year but fall calls for comfort soup. With slight breezes and the crisp sound of falling leaves, soup is a great way to warm up and snuggle. Chicken noodle soup is a very traditional comfort food which my family loves. But, I wanted to make a traditional chicken soup with a slight twist. That is why I decided to make a Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup.

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When it came to choosing a pasta for the soup I didn’t want a noodle so I had to search for a type of pasta that would compliment the soup. Ditalini pasta turned out to be the perfect pasta for the Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup. Ditalini looks like little tubes and they soaked up the chicken broth. Every bite offered an extra burst of broth and flavor.

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One thing I really liked about the Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup was the fact that including the pasta made the soup very filling. A big bowl of soup makes a full meal with a nice chunk of crusty bread. If you want to have the soup with a meal I would suggest you only have a small cup so that you don’t get full too fast. Either way you will definitely have a smile on your face while eating the soup.

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Think about cooking up a big pot of Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup the next time you feel a chill in the air. It will warm you up and put a smile on your face. Remember comfort food is good anytime of the year but fall and winter call for comfort soup.

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Shredded Chicken and Pasta Soup

Ingredients:
4 chicken thighs
5 quarts water
3 cups Ditalini pasta (prepare according to package)
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup shredded carrots (rough chop)
3 scallions diced (green part included)
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp Adobo seasoning
½ tsp dried dill
¼ tsp thyme
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Place water, chicken, ½ cup onions and all seasonings except for dill into a large pot. Cook chicken on medium high for 45 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through and is tender. Remove chicken from the pot and set aside to cool for shredding. Once cooled, shred chicken with your fingers and set aside.

Strain chicken broth and place back into the pot. Skim some of the chicken grease from the surface of the broth. Reduce heat to medium. Add the additional cup of chicken broth, carrots, celery, green onions, dill and remaining onions to the pot. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add chicken to the broth and simmer for another 10 – 15 minutes. You can either place pasta in individual bowls then ladle soup over the pasta so that the pasta stays al dente. Or, you can add pasta to the soup and remove from heat so that the pasta does not over cook.

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Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho

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I am one of those people that enjoys soup year round. Similar to my Auntie M who drinks hot tea 365 days a year no matter what the temperature is outside. Of course on the hottest of days in the summer when I have a craving for soup, I prefer a gazpacho style soup.

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Gazpacho is a soup made with raw veggies and is usually served chilled but can be warmed. Most gazpacho soups have a tomato base with multiple layers of flavor and textures. The ingredients and thickness of the gazpacho often depends on the region in which it is made. While researching the history of gazpacho I learned that in Spain some of the original recipes included bread, vinegar, water,oil and garlic. Other recipes added fruits and nuts to the recipes.

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I decided to create a very simple version of gazpacho that would be delicious whether served chilled or slightly warmed. Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho fits that description as both black beans and corn are good when served hot or cold. The best thing about this soup is that it is relatively light and is very flavorful with fresh corn. So, the next time you have a craving for a nice healthy soup in the middle of a hot summer day think about making some Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho. Hot or cold you can’t go wrong with this soup.

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Black Bean and Corn Gazpacho

 Ingredients:
3 15.5 oz cans black beans rinsed
1 small onion diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels
½ cup fresh salsa or diced tomatoes
¼ cup half and half
2 tbsp sour cream
1 tsp cilantro
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Place beans, onions, broth and seasonings in a large pot over medium high heat. Cook for 20 minutes until beans and onions are tender. Remove from heat and puree beans using a hand blender or in a regular blender. Place pot back on the heat and reduce to a simmer. Stir in sour cream and half and half. Simmer for another 5 minutes then stir in corn and salsa. Continue simmering for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

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Butter Bean and Kale Soup with Smoked Turkey

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For me, eating soup is something you do all year round. Especially, during the winter months when the weather chills your bones and makes your teeth chatter kind of like today. I was up and out of the house early this morning and the thermometer was in the single digits. At that point, I knew I would make a hearty, healthy pot of butter bean and kale soup with smoked turkey.

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I am not sure of why I thought of this combination for the soup but since I love beans and I love kale I figured why not put the two together. Both the beans and the kale are very healthy and full of vitamins and minerals that help increase energy and help to fight against many diseases. Smoked turkey is also a healthier choice compared to beef and adds a ton of flavor.

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If you are looking for something unique and flavorful to fix the next time you want a hearty soup, try making a butter bean and kale soup. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how good butter beans and kale are together.

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Butter Bean and Kale Soup with Smoked Turkey

Ingredients:
3 cans butter beans undrained
3 cups fresh kale
4 cups water
2 smoked turkey legs
1 tbsp roasted garlic or ½ tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp salt
½ tbsp black pepper
½ tsp Adobo
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Cook turkey in a pressure cooker with 4 cups of water for 30 minutes. Strain 4 cups of broth into a large pot (may need to add a little more water). Add butter beans, kale, roasted garlic and sea to the broth. Stir and let simmer over medium heat for 25 – 30 minutes until kale is done.

Optional: If using dried butter beans prepare according to package and use the turkey broth as the liquid for cooking. Add other ingredients half way through the cooking process for the beans.

May also cook smoked turkey on the stove for 1 to 1 ½ hours until turkey is tender.

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