Lemony White Bean Soup with Turkey & Greens

Here is a Melissa Clark recipe I made last weekend (I told you New York Times Cooking has kept us well fed through the pandemic).

She was inspired to make this recipe as an alternative to chili. Like her, I have a go-to turkey chili recipe memorized and I usually have all of the ingredients on hand. But given how much I’ve been cooking, that means I’ve made it A LOT recently. So, suffice to say, I was excited to try a new recipe involving ground turkey.

This recipe is the definition of piquant.


  1. having a pleasantly sharp taste or appetizing flavor.”a piquant tartare sauce”
    Similar: spicy, tangy, spiced, peppery, hot, tasty, flavorsome, flavorful, appetizing, highly seasoned, savory, pungent, sharp, tart, zesty, strong, salty
  2. pleasantly stimulating or exciting to the mind.
    Similar: intriguing, stimulating, interesting, fascinating, colorful

The soup was so flavorful from the cumin, ginger, and garlic; spicy but not too spicy from the red pepper flakes; and, zesty from the lemon juice.

The recipe suggests mashing some of the white beans if you want more of a stew-like consistency. I chose to leave the soup brothier. I used kale for the sturdy green and I had some tarragon on hand so used that for the herbs. I added the juice of one whole lemon.

Oh….and my latest discovery (though not a new product) is Better Than Bouillion. I think it is superior to canned or boxed stock / broth. And one jar can make a lot of broth/stock so I never have to worry about running out. I used the Roasted Chicken base to make the 4 cups of stock needed for the recipe.

The whole family enjoyed the recipe!

Lemony White Bean Soup With Turkey and Greens

Melissa Clark, NY Times Cooking

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 bunch sturdy greens, such as kale, broccoli rabe, mustard greens or collard greens
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin, plus more to taste
  • â…› teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • ½ pound ground turkey
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped fresh, soft herbs, such as parsley, mint, dill, basil, tarragon, chives or a combination
  •  Fresh lemon juice, to taste
  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high for a minute or so to warm it up. Add the oil and heat until it thins out, about 30 seconds. Add onion and carrot, and sauté until very soft and brown at the edges, 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, rinse the greens and pull the leaves off the stems. Tear or chop into bite-size pieces and set aside.
  3. When the onion is golden, add tomato paste, 3/4 teaspoon cumin and 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes to the pot, and sauté until paste darkens, about 1 minute. Add turkey, garlic, ginger and 1 teaspoon salt, and sauté, breaking up the meat with your spoon, until turkey is browned in spots, 4 to 7 minutes.
  4. Add stock and beans, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer until the soup is thick and flavorful, adding more salt if needed, 15 to 25 minutes. If you like a thicker broth, you can smash some of the beans with the back of the spoon to release their starch. Or leave the beans whole for a brothier soup.
  5. Add the greens to the pot and simmer until they are very soft. This will take 5 to 10 minutes for most greens, but tough collard greens might take 15 minutes. (Add a little water if the broth gets too reduced.)
  6. Stir herbs and lemon juice into the pot, taste and add more salt, cumin and lemon until the broth is lively and bright-tasting. Serve topped with a drizzle of olive oil and more red-pepper flakes, if desired.

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