Ground Turkey, Kale & Black Eye Pea Soup

Monday, January 27, 2014

Doing the Clean Program during a New York Winter is tough. When it is less than 10°F outside, the last thing I want to do is eat a salad. That's where this soup comes in. Everything ingredient in this hearty soup is Clean Cleanse approved and not to mention just really really delicious on a cold winter day.

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The inspiration for this soup comes from Kenji over at Serious Eats. I've been a long time follower of Kenji and love all his Food Lab posts. This month he's doing a feature on different soups, and while his posts aren't always the healthiest, it always goes through scientific explanations of how to extract the most flavors from food.

In my past few iterations of this soup, I just kind of winged it based on what I read from his post. However, today I decided to pay attention to some of the flavors he builds to this soup and I have to say it definitely makes it 10x more enjoyable. Don't skimp on the details guys, because sometimes it's the tiniest details that matters the most.


Made a substitute here and used ground turkey instead of italian sausage since it's cleanse approved. If you're using ground turkey, be sure not to cook for too long in the soup because the turkey is very lean and will just end up drying out. Trust me, I tried to make turkey meatball soup using a similar technique and failed. Boiling the turkey for any time over 20 minutes will start leaving you with dry cardboard. And who likes eating cardboard?
The final touch that completes this soup and elevates it from good to delicious is the addition of lemon zest to the soup while it's cooking and to garnish. It gives the soup a touch of sweetness and zing that the soup needs. Be sure to add this to your soup for that pop of extra flavor.

Ground Turkey, Kale & Black Eye Pea Soup

Adapted from Serious Eats
Serves 4


12 ounces ground turkey
8 ounces kale, washed & chopped (I used ⅔ bag of organic tuscan kale from TJ's)
½ cup of dried black eye peas or 1 can of black eye pea or any white bean
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp of dried rosemary
1 quart of low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups water
1 lemon, zested
salt & pepper

1. Rehydrate your dried peas. If you have dried black eye peas (which is recommended since they soak up more flavor), soak them in slightly salted water overnight.

2. Brown turkey.  In a medium saucepan, heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium high. When hot, add the ground turkey and season with some salt and pepper. In 2 minutes, add 1/2 of your onions to the pan. Turn down heat to medium/medium-high and continue cooking until your turkey is fully cooked and just starting to brown, about 7-10 minutes. Remove turkey and leave the brown bits on the pan.

3. Soften veggies & cook broth. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add remaining onions, celery and carrots. Season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for 4 minutes and add garlic, half of the rosemary and half of the lemon zest. Cook until fragrant, for 30 seconds, and add chicken stock and water. Wait until boiling and turn heat down to a low simmer. Boil for about 30 minutes, until black eye peas are tender to bite.

4. Add turkey and kale. Once the peas are soft enough to eat, add turkey and boil for another 5 minutes. Add kale and cook for another 3-4 minutes, until the texture of the kale is to your liking. Serve and garnish with lemon zest. 

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