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This recipe presents a one-pot solution for any hectic weeknight when all you desire is to effortlessly assemble a tasty, nourishing meal by simply combining a variety of pantry staples and produce in one giant pot. This white bean soup with turkey, leeks and kale is a fuss free, time saving option for a hearty and satisfying dinner.
How to make this white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale
The dish starts with plenty of olive oil drizzled in a chunky Dutch oven, in which we’ll sear ground turkey. Since ground turkey is a very lean meat, we’ll rely on olive oil to properly sear and caramelize the ground meat for some extra flavor in the broth. If ground turkey is not your thing, ground chicken will do the job just as well. And if you can’t get your hands on ground meat, get some boneless, skinless chicken thighs and chop them up at home.
After noticing golden brown caramelized meat bits on the bottom of the pan, it’s time for the next step of our white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale: the leeks. Leeks tend to pack lots of dirt in between their layers, so taking the time to rinse them after thinly slicing them is crucial. We’ll also be cooking the kale stems during this step, they tend to be really fibrous, so the sooner you get them in the pot, the softer they will get.
If you can’t get your hands on kale leaves, Swiss chard would be my second choice. The moisture from all the greens cooking in the pot will help us scrape off all those flavorful, caramelized brown bits from the bottom of the pan and capture most of their flavor in our white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale.
The next step in our white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale is to simmer all these delicious ingredients together for a rich and flavorful broth. One thing to note here is to make sure you properly season the white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale with pinches and pinches of salt. It’s important to remember we’re working with a pretty big quantity of water — 6 cups, to be more precise — therefore it’s crucial to flavor the water not only by simmering various ingredients in it, but by seasoning it with salt. Always taste the broth and season with more salt as needed.
For the white beans in this white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale, you’ll notice I’m using my favorite-favorite butter or lima beans. They have such a great bite and texture to them, but they’re often hard to find. If you’re unable to find canned butter or lima beans anywhere, consider cooking some yourself or using another type of bean instead. I would go for chickpeas or cannellini beans.
I love love love the sweetness and richness the coconut cream brings to the soup. If you happen to be allergic to coconut, I think blended silken tofu would make a great contender for a substitute.
How to store and reheat the white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale
You can store the white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale up for up to 3 or 4 days in the fridge, I keep mine in deli 1-quart containers and label each with the date I made them on. You can also store the white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale for up to a month in the freezer, simply freeze the soup in your favorite freezer molds and reheat in the microwave or in a pot over medium heat.
Similar recipe ideas
Are you looking for recipes with a similar feel to this white bean soup with turkey leeks and kale? Try my Sesame Chicken Pot Pie for a hearty, stewy, crowd-pleasing dinner or my Easy Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Soup.
One-Pot White Bean Soup with Turkey, Leeks and Kale
Servings: 4 to 6
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 50 minutes
Total: 1 hour 5 minutes
- 2 medium leeks
- 5 medium curly kale leaves, about 1/2 bunch
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
- 16-ounces (450g) ground turkey
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, roughly crushed
- 2 x 15.5-ounce (450g) cans butter (lima) beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 cups (1.5 liters) water
- 7-ounces (200g) coconut cream or full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup or a handful small pasta, such as ditalini, couscous, pastina, orecchiette, optional
- Peel the outer layer off the leeks. Slice some of the dried dark green ends off the leeks. Slice the leek in half, lengthwise. Set the leek cut side down on the cutting board and thinly slice. Add the sliced leeks to a colander and thoroughly wash under cold water to remove and dirt residue. Set aside.
- Remove the kale stems by pinching the leaf with your fingers and pulling away from the stem. Chop the kale leaves into big chunks and set them aside. Thinly slice the kale stems and set aside.
- Thinly slice the garlic cloves and set aside.
- In a medium (about 5-quart) pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. Using your fingers or a spoon, pinch small, bite-sized pieces of ground turkey and add them to the pot — feel free to overcrowd the pot, it’s fine if the meat chunks touch each other.
- Season with a hefty pinch of salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Allow the meat to sear, untouched, until brown bits of caramelized meat start developing on the bottom of the pot, about 8 to 12 minutes. Using a wooden spoon or silicone spatula, flip the seared meat and continue cooking until deeply golden, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add more oil as needed.
- Add the coriander and sizzle for 1 minute in oil. Add the thinly sliced leeks, kale stems and a hefty pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens have softened, about 6 minutes. Scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pot using a wooden spoon.
- Push everything to one side of the pot. Add a glug of oil at the bottom of the pot and add the garlic. Cook until soft and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the beans to the pot, the water, coconut cream and a hefty pinch of salt. Bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes.
- If using, add the pasta, the remaining chopped kale leaves and continue simmering for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the pasta is fully cooked.
- Taste and season the broth with more salt, if needed.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top.