Soup season is upon us bringing to the table a plethora of wonderful Fall dinner options. I am always on the hunt for interesting new contenders for my weekly line-up, so I jumped on a tip from a friend who recommended that I check out the 17 Bean & Barley Mix from Trader Joe’s.
The bag's ingredient list has an interesting assortment of, you guessed it, 17 types of barley and dried beans, including black eyed peas, pinto, lentils and navy. You would certainly enjoy this bean mix up straight, but I decided to throw in some added protein and a little varied flavor with the help of some smoked turkey wings, (although you could use a ham hock or bacon as well).
Here’s my recipe for Hearty Bean & Smoked Turkey Soup. This soup can also be made vegetarian by omitting the turkey and using vegetable stock. It is a simple weeknight entree everyone will enjoy.
In prepping the beans for your soup, I recommend the "quick soak" method mentioned on the bag, which simply means: boil them in water, cover and remove from heat, and let sit for an hour. I did this in the morning while my kids ate breakfast and left them covered on the stove until I was ready to cook with them.
Hearty Bean & Smoked Turkey Soup (with Trader Joe's 17 Bean & Barley Mix)
1 bag Trader Joe’s 17 bean soup mix, quick soaked and drained until ready to use.
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 cubes frozen garlic
1 diced onion (think Vidalia Chopper!)
1 C. each, diced carrot and celery
2 smoked turkey wings (I found these at Shop Rite in Norwalk)
1 10 oz. can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
64 oz. chicken stock (or 3 Tbs. of Better than Bouillon and 64 oz. water)
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1½ tsp. smoked fleur de sel or kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
Parmesan cheese for garnish
Saute garlic, onion, carrots and celery on olive oil in a deep soup pot on medium high heat. Add the turkey, tomatoes and chicken stock and stir to combine. Add in remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer, cover and let cook for at least an hour, preferably longer.
Before serving, remove the bay leaves and turkey meat from the bones. Add turkey meat back into soup and serve.