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Happy SOUPtember – Our Favorite Family-Friendly (And Healthy) Soup That We Make Every Week

Oh she’s not done with soups and I’m craving the coziness for fall, so soups are on my mind. For me, it’s more of a year-round lifestyle – SOUPtember, CROCKtober, STOVEmber, DecemBROTH, JanSTEWary, etc (admittedly this is stronger in the fall and winter months). Just to be clear I make mostly stews, chock full of veggies and protein – FULL MEAL DEALS in a pot. They are impossible to mess up (not like baking) and there are one million flavor profiles (thus not getting sick of it). I enjoy it in my mouth, my body feels good, and the cleanup is super easy – I can check one big life box with a cutting board, knife and a big pot.

Last year I started making this same soup (almost) every sunday, ready to eat for 3-4 meals the following week. This might depress you – the idea of eating the same food every week, multiple nights in a row, but we love everything about it. Here is why:

  1. It tastes very good, duh.
  2. This soup keeps so well – easily as good on day four as day one (many brothier soups are icky by day three).
  3. It can be dressed down (for the kids – no spice) and then dressed up for us.
  4. It is super healthy, filling, and EASY. I can make it with my eyes closed at this point.
  5. It allows me to eat more of whatever I want on the weekends, knowing that at least Monday – Wednesday has started out really healthy. It’s a balance, folks. Always.

Consider it a “food uniform” – something we don’t have to think about and we know it works. No more 5pm “what are we doing for dinner” stress. With this in the fridge, we know going into the week that we have at least two nights good to go (the kids only eat it one night).

  1. Sauté the onion, carrot, celery in the EVO for 7-10 minutes til golden and all yummy smelling (sometimes I put the garlic here, other times later).
  2. Add tomato paste, cumin, and the red pepper (hold off on red pepper flakes until you’ve pulled out non-spicy portions for kiddos). Stir til the paste covers everything evenly.
  3. Add the ground turkey, garlic, ginger salt and pepper. Break up the turkey and cook until the turkey is browned which is about 4-7 minutes.
  4. Add the drained and rinsed beans and broth. Simmer 15-20 minutes. You can smash the beans if you want it to be thicker to release starch, or add more broth to make it brothier. I like it both ways. Also I’ve often done just two cans of beans which is enough. Loved it all.
  5. Add the chopped up kale. Now our kids don’t like kale one bit, and I try to avoid unnecessary battles with them because there are too many actual necessary battles we have to fight (like how my 7-year old wants to wear crop tops). So we throw some in the pot so they don’t think we are letting them off the vegetable hook, let it wilt and dish up their bowls (or put in Tupperware).
  6. Doctor it up. With the kids or non-spicy portions already removed, we make a version that we like more – we add the full head of kale chopped up, red pepper flakes, optional chopped up soft herbs and a lot of lemon (one whole lemon squeezed for the pot).

Do The Kids Really Love It?

Ha. No, but they like it enough to not fight us on it and I consider that a WIN. This recipe is an easy one to adapt for kids and then doctor it up for us with more heat and veggies for grownups.

And in case you don’t have any soup making tools or need one or two, these are my recommendations:

  1. Dutch Oven | 2. 8″ Zwilling Gourmet Chef’s Knife | 3. Epicurean ® Black Non-Slip Paper Composite Cutting Board | 4. Beech Wood Solid Spoon | 5. Stainless Steel Ladle | 6. Denim Apron

Happy Cozy September Souping, folks 🙂

*Photos by Kaitlin Green


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33 thoughts on “Happy SOUPtember – Our Favorite Family-Friendly (And Healthy) Soup That We Make Every Week

  1. I love soup! Quick recipe check—recipe doesn’t have garlic but directions mention it. Also how many cans of beans? Recipe says one but the directions imply 2-3. Thanks!

  2. This looks great! I make a very similar version of this often, using red lentils instead of turkey- but the rest is mostly the same, down to the ample lemon juice added at the end. I serve it topped with a dollop of plain yogurt, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, and crusty bread- delish. Would love to see any new-ish cookbook recommendations folks might have in the comments 🙂 I need a fall refresh!

    1. Thank you for the rec to sub red lentils for the turkey! I was trying to figure out a good vegetarian replacement for this delicious looking soup!

    2. A very similar vegetarian version is Cookie and Kate’s Tuscan Bean Soup. I make it but sub canned chickpeas. It’s a fall and winter standby for us.

  3. In the recipe list you state “1 cans of beans” – plural, but also only one, and in the instructions you state you “also, I only add two cans of beans, which is enough,” leading me to think you meant 3 cans of beans or 1 can each of the three listed. Can you clarify?

  4. Great recipe! Mirrors my go-to Turkey chili. Does the list of ingredients meant to include just 1 can of beans?

    1. I believe Emily meant to write EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) instead of EVO. In the original recipe (Melissa Clark, NYTimes) uses regular olive oil. Also, it is generally NOT recommended to use extra virgin (more $$ than regular) when cooking – but instead for adding at the end, just before serving for a splash of flavor, so there is no need for extra virgin olive oil in this receipe.

  5. This appears to be Melissa Clark’s Lemony White Bean Soup with Turkey and Greens recipe, doubled, from the NYT. You can look it up there for any questions about quantities of beans, garlic, etc. I make this soup regularly and it’s delicious!

  6. I love soup! If it wasn’t for Hell’s death grip on Texas I’d me making it year round too.

  7. Soooo gooood!!! 😋
    As a vegetarian, that’s souper-easy to delete the turkey (plenty of protein from the beans – I’d swap one can of Canellini beans for Brown Lentils) and swap the stock for veggie stock.
    Now that I live on my own, I’m committed to eating healthy food most of the time. That means cooking a bit pot of something (I rotate brown rice risotto; a x5 veggie-bake; veggie curry and Basmati rice; and a stewy-something-or-other … and I switch in a One Pot Summer Pasta via Jenny Rosenstrach via CoJ as the weather warms up).
    I don’t think a cast iron pot is necessary – a good stainless steel pot (even IKEA sells decent-enough ones) is fine.
    A good knife that is *kept sharp* is critical. So a good ceramic sharpener is even more important than the knife itself.
    I’m with you, Emily, on cooking a big batch sn8d eating on repeat. If it’s good, tasty vitrels, your body actually wants to eat on repeat.😊🥘

  8. This looks easy, yummy, and healthy!

    Emily, if you haven’t yet discovered the joy of homemade bone broth, give it a try. When my kids were still at home I went full on with roasting the chicken myself but now I cheat and buy a rotisserie chicken. It’s still homemade broth, right?!

    I also love roasting beef bones and then simmering then with onion and garlic for an entire day. Great for sipping and as a base for stews. You know the broth is legit if it gels solid in the fridge.

    1. Not really b/c most stores use garbage chickens for the rotisserie…that’s why they can sell them so cheap. Swanson’s broth probably does too. If you roast a free range organic chicken on Sunday, put every last bone in a stock pot, throw in some garlic cloves and a few handfuls of veggie scraps you’ve saved in a freezer bag, fill the pot with water, and bring the pot to boil and then simmer…you will have 4-5 quarts of high-quality broth the next morning. It freezes well in quart yogurt containers as long as you bring the broth to room temperature before straining and filling the containers. Then you have broth for all your soups, stews, when making rice, risottos, and brothy beans.

      1. And if using an Instant Pot, the broth can be ready in 90 mins instead of overnight.
        Great to get the soup done in one day, and doesn’t stink the house out!

        1. That’s funny that you think it’s stinky! I’ll set soup in the crock pot or start stock for overnight, and I’ll often walk back in the house and wonder, ‘Wow, someone’s making something yummy!’ (I live alone!) It’s ME! 🙂

  9. Once the temps come down I’m excited to try this. To clarify, you make this on Sunday and eat it together as a family on Sunday? Then you and your husband have it for dinner again on Monday, kids have something else, and then as an adult lunch or dinner on Tuesday or Wednesday? Just trying to understand your method.

  10. Made this today! It’s delicious–I’m eating it as I type! Thanks for the inspiration to get vegetables back into my body! Used Impossible burger and veggie broth and both worked beautifully as a substitution! Thank you Emily!

  11. This sounds worth a try, thanks! I don’t love cumin though. I’m curious what ideas people have for substitutions. I know I can play around with other spices, but if someone already has an idea…

  12. I can’t believe y’all missed “FeBREWary,” haha! But seriously looks delicious!
    Working on puns for March, short of a ploy on Matzo Ball Soup. Thanks for sharing!
    Also, whatever happened to the River House Project? Is that on hold for a bit or something?

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