|Turkey soup loaded with all sorts of good stuff!|
About this time in late winter, I look in my freezer and discover the cache of turkey stock I made with the Thanksgiving turkey carcass. Before the warm weather returns, it needs to be reincarnated as a delicious soup. Though the weather isn’t nearly as cold now, it can still be blustery, wet, and excellent “soup weather.” This recipe makes a lot of soup, but you can make a half batch if you don’t want so much of it. The full batch is great for a party!
I created this soup to use up the stock and some frozen cooked turkey too. It’s a meal in a pot, with white beans, pasta stars, and lots of vegetables. If you don’t have cooked turkey in your freezer, get thickly sliced deli turkey breast and cut into bite-sized pieces.
Turkey Pasta Fagioli Soup
3 oz. pancetta, diced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, cut into half-moon slices
1 stalk of celery, sliced plus ½ cup chopped celery leaves (or use 2 stalks)
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon salt (if using a salted stock, use 1½ teaspoons)
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crumbled or use 1 6″ long sprig of fresh rosemary
2 cups diced tomatoes, either fresh or canned
10 cups turkey stock
¾ cup pasta stars (or any other small pasta shape like alphabet pasta)
1 14-oz. can white beans, drained and rinsed
8 oz. cooked turkey, chopped into bite sized pieces
freshly ground pepper plus any of these optional garnishes: grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley, extra-virgin olive oil
Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until the pancetta fat renders out. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until onions are wilted. Add pepper, salt, bay leaf, rosemary, tomatoes, and turkey stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to maintain a simmer. Partially cover and cook for 45 minutes. Add the beans and cooked turkey.
While the beans and turkey are getting hot in the soup, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente (check the box for the time needed for your pasta shape). Drain well. Once everything in the soup is hot, add the pasta. Taste for salt. Add garnishes as you serve the soup.