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Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

7 Oct
Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

“Mom, this is the best soup you’ve ever made — and I don’t even like soup that much!” Wow. That was a surprise comment from her as she was finishing her first bowl of this tasty, filling soup while sopping up the last of the broth with a thick slice of crusty French bread. Fall has arrived and the nights are getting downright brisk (read freezing) and this is my soup-making time of year. I had a package of Italian-seasoned ground turkey in the freezer that I bought on a whim a few weeks ago. My husband was certainly skeptical of this particular purchase, since the very first meal I ever made for him was a complete disaster using this type of meat. I had unfortunately bragged up front to him about how much I loved to cook and was going to make him a delicious “healthy” dinner. I also decided to use our trusty old grill back then too, and at that point in time I did not have much grilling experience either. Long story short, he was served a meal of burnt, crumbled turkey burgers, of which half the burger fell through the grill because I didn’t use any binder in the meat. I was also unaware that turkey burger is so lean that it does not grill up well without it. ANYWAYS, last night his confidence was restored in my ground turkey-making skills with the soup. He also went back for seconds. This is definitely one soup I will keep in my rotation. The flavors just explode in your mouth and the varying textures make every spoonful a delight.  I hope you agree.

Italian Ground Turkey and Spinach Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/4 pounds Italian-seasoned ground turkey (I used Jennie-O brand)
1 cup chopped sweet onion
1 cup chopped baby carrots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Black pepper to taste
5 to 6 cups homemade beef broth (or low sodium if using box/canned)
1 can low sodium petite diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 can low sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 6 to 9 ounce bag of spinach, coarsely chopped
Shredded Parmesan cheese

In a soup pot or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium high and add the ground turkey, onions, carrots, garlic and pepper to taste. Cook and stir until all the meat and vegetables have released their moisture and the ground turkey starts sticking a little,about 15 minutes. This ensures the turkey is cooked all the way through, as it doesn’t really “brown” much like burger does. Add the beef broth, then bring to a simmer and cook for about 20 more minutes, or until the carrots are tender. Now add the rest of the ingredients except the cheese, and bring back to a simmer for a few more minutes until the spinach is wilted. You can eat this now, or cover and keep warm until ready to serve. I made this a couple of hours before dinnertime because my husband was out golfing and wasn’t quite sure when to expect him home (the course had a “frost delay”), but I knew he’d be mighty hungry when he got in. He barely made it back before dark, and just as I suspected, he was ready to eat! We sliced up some warm, buttered French bread and added shredded Parmesan cheese to the soup for garnish. Heavenly delicious!

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