Thursday, January 19, 2012

Turkey, Kale, and Brown Rice Soup

Here's a hearty and healthy soup that's perfect for cold winter days. Packed with lots of veggies, lean ground turkey, and brown rice, this soup is filling but you don't have to feel guilty about eating it. The seasoning comes from herbs de Provence, which can be a little overpowering and floral, so you might want to start with 1 1/2 tbsp. and then season to taste. Also, if you don't have herbs de Provence, then you could substitute with Italian seasoning. 

Turkey, Kale, and Brown Rice Soup
Servings: 6 to 8

2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp. herbs de Provence (see note above)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 lb. lean ground turkey
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 - 15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
6 cups packed kale, stemmed and chopped
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 inch piece of Parmesan rind (optional)*
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
Fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped, for topping
Parmesan cheese for topping

In a large dutch oven or pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, parsnips, celery, and bell pepper; cook until softened. Add the garlic, herbs de Provence, and crushed red pepper flakes; cook for an additional minute. Stir in the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, kale, brown rice, Parmesan rind (optional), salt, and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top each bowl of soup with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

*Cooks note: When I buy a large block of Parmesan, I cut the rind off and divide it into 1 inch portions. I wrap each portion in plastic wrap and store in the freezer until ready for use. They add a nice depth of flavor and a little salty bite to soups. 

Source: adapted from Giada de Laurentiis via Food Network

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