Recipe for turkey escarole soup
I first published this recipe in a newsletter I used to send out once a month, and since then I've updated it ever-so-slightly and shared it on The Perfect Pantry. Judging by the number of people who've written to tell me they've fallen in love with this recipe, it's my all-time #1 best soup and it started, as many great soups do, as a "fridge dump". Store-bought low-sodium stock or broth actually works better in this soup than homemade (did you ever think you'd hear me say that?), but use whatever you have on hand. After all, that's the whole point of a fridge dump! Substitute spinach for escarole, or ground chicken for ground turkey, but don't omit the parmesan cheese rind; it makes all the difference.
Turkey escarole soup
2 tsp olive oil
1-1/4 lb ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
2 zucchini, chopped
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp mild or hot red pepper flakes, or to taste
2 tsp dried thyme leaf or 4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large head escarole, washed, roughly chopped (or 2 small bags of baby spinach)
6 oz ground or chopped canned tomato, or fresh tomato
4 cups chicken stock (low-sodium store-bought, or homemade)
1 cup water, if needed to cover
1/4 cup small pasta (orzo, pilaf noodles, spaghetti broken into small pieces, etc.)
Rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (the secret ingredient) -- any size you have
In a stock pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat, and sauté ground turkey until no longer pink. Add onion, zucchini and mushrooms, and sauté until onions are translucent. Stir in pepper flakes, thyme and black pepper.
Add escarole or spinach, and stir to combine. When the escarole is just slightly wilted, add tomato and stock, water if needed, pasta, and the cheese rind. After the escarole has cooked down, add a cup or two of water, if the soup seems too thick.
Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes. If you used homemade chicken stock, you might need to add salt and more pepper, to taste.
Print recipe only.