The first soup that was going to post on this blog for autumn was my Roasted Butternut and Apple Soup. It is a brilliant tasting soup, I often get many requests for the recipe, and I even some that asks if I can a ship them a few quarts. However, after a week of eating deliciously simple roasted butternut squash for lunch and celebrating the autumn equinox with a luxurious Butternut Risotto, I got a hankering for a warm, hearty, and comforting bean soup.
(I promise the Roasted Butternut and Apple Soup recipe is coming… soon!)
Truth is I think all soups are comforting. The level of comfort changes with each soup. Sometimes I factor in sentimental memories and if there is, an illness involved. Soups, when done properly, are a big, sincere, comforting hug from the inside out. With a sack of white beans, a bounty of fresh vegetables, and sweet smoky turkey legs, comfort is within reach.
Most bean soups are a quick snap to make in the pressure cooker and the dried beans do not need soaking overnight to get a creamy soup broth and soft, tender beans. The method is basic: sauté aromatics, add beans, add smoked meat (if using), add enough water to cover, and let the pressure cooker do all of the work. If using a pressure cooker scares you, then cook this soup in a large, heavy-bottom Dutch oven soup pot.
My Recipe: WHITE BEAN & VEGETABLE SOUP w SMOKED TURKEY serves 8
12 oz dried white beans: navy, northern, or cannellini, your choice
1 – 3# smoked turkey leg or smoked turkey thigh
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
1 medium leek or two small baby leeks, cleaned well and diced
1 rib celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
1 c frozen spinach, thawed and water squeezed out
2 T olive oil
1 – 2 bay leaves
2 ½ c water; plus more if needed
kosher salt, as needed
cracked black pepper, as needed
Heat pressure cooker or the bottom of a heavy-bottom Dutch oven soup pot; add olive oil; add onion and sauté until onions are translucent, about 4 minutes
Add leeks and cook until soften, but not brown, about 4 minutes; add celery and carrots; sauté for another 6 minutes
Add smoked turkey leg, or turkey thigh, white beans, and bay leaves
Cover contents with water and bring pot to a full rolling boil
Follow the instructions for your pressure cooker to secure the lid; reduce heat to medium; and cook under pressure for 30 – 40 minutes
If using a Dutch oven, reduce the pot to a medium-high heat; cook until beans become tender, for about 1 hour and 15 minutes
After beans have softened, remove smoked turkey leg or turkey thigh and set aside to cool; add more water to thin soup if it becomes too thick.
When turkey leg, or thigh, is cool enough to touch, remove and discard skin; using a fork, shred meat from the bone, careful to remove any pin bones before returning meat back to soup pot
Add spinach; season soup with kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
This soup is a full meal in a bowl chocked full of vegetables and protein For the ultimate in comfort, serve it with a golden, slightly sweet, crumbly cornbread with diced apples folded into the batter… and think of this as a huge bear hug.
My Recipe: GOLDEN SWEET APPLE CORNBREAD serves 8
1 c all-purpose flour
¾ c cornmeal
½ c granulated sugar
1 T baking powder
¾ t kosher salt
¾ c unsweetened soymilk or dairy milk
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
1 large sweet apple, peeled and diced
Non-stick baking spray
Preheat oven to 425 degrees; spray 8” square or round baking pan with non-stick baking spray; set aside
In one bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, granulated sugar, baking powder, and kosher salt
In another bowl, combine the soymilk, or milk, egg, and melted butter; combine thoroughly
Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients; combine until just moistened; fold in the diced apples; and pour batter into the prepared baking pan
Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
Serve while warm with soup
always in good T.A.S.T.E – cause you gottatastethis!