Generally speaking, I think soup is best used as a condiment for good bread. A lot of the time, I can take or leave a bowl of soup - it's okay for one night now and again, but I generally want a meal with a little more substance. This left me in a difficult position shortly before Christmas, when I had a wisdom tooth out and couldn't eat any solid food.
I needed a soup that I could put up with nearly every meal for days on end. My thoughts immediately went to a tomato soup made by Kristin's brother in law, adapted from Pioneer Woman's Sherried Tomato Soup. I made some changes to that recipe to add a little spice and complexity, cooked a big batch, and pureed it down to be thin enough to eat without risk to my dental health. It was fantastic!
That post-wisdom-tooth soup was tasty, but I still prefer not to eat as if I've just had oral surgery whenever possible. This further adaptation of my first attempt adds some meat and many more vegetables. The result is a complex, hearty dish with definite roots in tomato soup, but enough interesting elements to eat as a main course - accompanied, of course, by some good bread.
Here's what you'll need: ground turkey (not too lean), tomato juice, canned diced tomatoes, frozen corn, bell pepper, sweet onion, carrots, sherry, Worcestershire sauce, heavy cream, basil, cayenne pepper, and paprika.
First, dice up all of your vegetables in a manner that inadvertently honors your Irish heritage.
Brown the ground turkey with a bit of salt and pepper in a large stock pot or dutch oven. Take care not to overcook it - remove and set the turkey aside as soon as all of the pink is gone from the meat.
There should be just a little bit of fat left in the bottom of the pan from the ground turkey. If there's not much, consider adding just a tiny bit of butter. Cook all of the vegetables over medium heat until tender.
When the vegetables are tender, return the ground turkey to the pot and add the tomato juice, diced tomatoes and their juice, frozen corn, Worcestershire sauce, basil, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Be conservative with the seasonings for now - you can add more at the end once the cream has been incorporated.
Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes to marry the flavors.
After that half-hour has elapsed, shut off the heat and add the heavy cream and sherry and stir well to mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed - you may want more paprika and cayenne if you like a bit more kick.
Serve hot with crusty bread.
Recipe: Tomato-Vegetable Soup with Turkey
Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes | Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 10-12
- 1.5 lbs Ground Turkey (pref. 90/10 or 93/7)
- 46 oz. Tomato Juice
- 1 28 oz. can Diced Tomatoes
- 1 large Sweet Onion
- 1 large Green Bell Pepper
- 10 oz Frozen Sweet Corn
- 3/4 cup Shredded/Diced Carrot
- 1 cup Cooking Sherry
- 1 cup Heavy Cream
- 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 tbsp Basil
- 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
- 1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Finely chop sweet onion, bell pepper, and carrots.
- In a large stock pot or dutch oven, brown ground turkey over medium-high heat. Remove and seat aside.
- Reduce heat to medium. Cook vegetables in remaining fat until tender.
- Reduce heat to low. Return ground turkey to pan. Add tomato juice, canned tomatoes, corn, Worcestershire sauce, basil, paprika, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper and simmer 30 minutes.
- Turn off heat. Add heavy cream and cooking sherry. Taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
- Serve hot with crusty bread.