Recipe: Turkey Bean Soup

I have made TWO full batches of this soup in the past two days, at Jenise’s request. The first batch didn’t make it past the first day. I must be good at this, because Jenise is the pickiest eater in Philly.

This is a very simple recipe with only three ingredients, but it does take several hours to make. The bulk of time is spent boiling water–about three times. I use turkey instead of ham because Jenise and I are backing away from pork.

I’m sure that there are quicker ways to make bean soup, but this one is mine. I like slow cooking because I work from home, and I have the time to take with it. And I have to admit…I LOVE the reward of family emptying the pot in record time.


Soak the beans anywhere between 1 hour and overnight.

When it comes to beans, I know that soaking them overnight is the proper way. I don’t have the refrigerator space for that, so I follow the suggestion on the Hambeen’s bag: bring to a boil for 2 minutes, then take the pot off the burner and let the beans soak for at least a half hour.

While the beans are soaking, boil the turkey leg at medium to high heat to the point where the meat is falling off the bone.

THIS RIGHT HERE is the time-suck. With a thawed turkey leg, the boiling process will take a couple of hours on high heat. You will have to add more water, but be patient. You’re creating the broth that will be the base of this soup, and those tendrils of turkey are heartier than ham (in my opinion).

This is how the turkey leg should look after the boiling process, so much the better if the bone is cleaner.

The tedious part is extracting all of the smaller bones. And I do mean ALL. You should be left with a pot of broth and large chunks of turkey meat. I also like to leave in the large piece of skin for flavor, but that’s optional.


Season the broth with three generous pinches of the Garlic and Herb Seasoning. Bring the water to a boil for the last time, then add the beans and turkey meat. Cook until the beans are soft and the broth is at your desired consistency.

When the beans are cooked and the broth is as thick as you want it, remove the skin from the pot. In the video, I was holding it up a few seconds too long because I was looking for a place to put it. I didn’t want to just chuck it into the sink. You DO get to see that everything is completely boiled off of it, though.

Okay…the clock on the stove confirms that this process took (roughly) six hours. I don’t regret it. Slow cooking is good cooking.

Fifteen beans with chunks of tender, smoky dark-meat turkey simmering in its own broth. I like my soup with mini-pretzels on top instead of crackers, but how you’d like to eat it will not offend me.

This soup never lasts more than two days in my home. Bon Appetit!

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