Ground turkey and white bean soup with kale

As a mum struggling to come up with new and interesting creations for 3 hungry humans, I realise that my repertoire is slightly “chicken-heavy.” It really is a versatile meat, and affordable too. Turkey however is a nice alternative when you are feeling bored for the same old thing.

This soup is not a big departure from your average minestrone, however, I have used large lima beans, which are hands down my favourite bean, whereas minestrone often uses kidney beans. They give a creamy flavour and are full of fibre. Also remember that kale needs to be added at the end end end – turn soup off the heat and add kale. It will cook with residual heat.

As always, soups are made infinitely better with the addition of homemade stock. I find chicken necks at my local supermarket for $3.00 a bag and set them on the boil with the vegetable ends I keep in my crisper for a rainy day. A good stock does not take ages to make – an hour and you’re golden. 40 minutes in a pinch and voila, your humble peasant food is elevated in a way that is both subtle and satisfying.


1 litre chicken stock

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium carrots

3 garlic cloves

1 onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

500g ground turkey

1 can butter beans/lima beans

2 cups chopped kale

1 can tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/4 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp oregano

1 – 2 tsp sea salt (depending on how seasoned your chicken stock is)

1 cup pasta (fusili or penne)


In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add olive oil and ground turkey and begin to brown the meat. Turkey takes a while to brown so take your time.

Add chopped onions and garlic and sauté to soften. Add tomato paste and allow to darken.

Add chopped tomatoes, carrots, celery, herbs and salt. Add chicken stock and bring to the boil. When soup is roiling, reduce to medium low and allow to cook for approximately 20 minutes.

About 10 minutes before you want to serve the soup, raise the heat, add the pasta and cook through. Add kale just before serving – adding it too soon will cause it to wilt and turn brown. Adjust seasonings.

2 responses to “Ground turkey and white bean soup with kale”

  1. I would say that soup saves the day. It is incredibly invigorating to drink a brothy soup. Most people don’t realize that my secret powers come from drinking soup!! A good chicken broth should not take one hours. As you say, chicken necks do the trick and give a wonderful result. I have taken to browning lamb bones and adding them along with chicken necks to get a nice collagen shot. Sometimes it is hard to find lamb bones. Incredibly they make the broth gel but do not give a strong lamb flavour. I love the shot of the soup in the pot.


  2. That’s the good thing about the cold spring we are having – more opportunity for soup! Mmm lamb bones. I’ll have to ask the butcher for some!


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