Pasta e Fagioli with Turkey

There’s nothing like a bowl of piping hot soup on a hot summer day! 🙂 I was hungry for lunch and had nothing ready to eat, so I put this together using ingredients we had on hand.

2-3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced (more or less to taste)
Celery, 3-4 stalks chopped including leaves (I used several inner stalks)
1 to 1-1/2 lbs. ground turkey
Kosher salt
Italian seasoning
1-2 quarts chicken broth (enough to cover; I used 1-1/2 qts., use more if you want)
1 15-oz. can Italian chopped tomatoes
1 15-oz. can Italian stewed tomatoes
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 big handfuls coursely chopped greens (I use Trader Joe’s Southern Greens Blend, straight out of the bag)
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1″ chunks
Ground pepper
2-3 Tbsp. salsa (adds a subtle flavor)
Chopped fresh Italian parsley to garnish
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Pasta (Fusilli or other small pasta), 1 serving per person

Heat olive oil in large pot. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat a few minutes until softened; add garlic and celery and continue cooking for a few more minutes, not letting garlic burn. Add turkey and break into pieces; cook until browned. While turkey is cooking, toss in a big pinch of kosher salt and sprinkle with Italian seasoning (eyeball the amount to taste).

Pour in chicken broth, tomatoes (with juice), beans (drained and rinsed), greens, and yellow pepper. Add more broth if necessary to cover the ingredients. Add several turns freshly ground pepper and salsa. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a separate pot cook pasta to al dente.

Spoon a serving of pasta into individual bowls, then ladle soup over pasta. Garnish with Italian parsley and Parmesan cheese. Eat and enjoy!

Chunky Hearty Three-Bean Soup

Hearty Three-Bean Soup

Our favorite soup, adapted from the original recipe titled “Recipe for Health: Hearty Three-Bean Soup”, printed in a magazine from a local hospital. True to its name, it is very hearty, full of flavor, and chunky with lots of the good stuff! We’ve made it many times, adjusting  the seasonings to suit our taste, until we settled on this recipe (most of the seasonings are approximately double the original amounts). This is a great comfort-food gift — what I call “A Hug in a Bowl” — everyone loves it and requests the recipe. We often make a double batch and freeze half for another day. It tastes even better the next day after the flavors have a chance to blend. (The photo above shows pieces of broccoli which I included on one occasion. I’ve also added shredded cabbage and you may need to adjust the liquid to accommodate extra ingredients.)  It makes a complete meal in itself, but try it with Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread for a larger meal or a soup party!

To make-ahead and freeze: Follow recipe except DO NOT ADD ZUCCHINI. (Zucchini will turn to mush in the freezer; ask me how I know!) Thaw, re-heat, then add zucchini and simmer for 10 minutes.
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Rita’s Famous Cheeseball

FOUND!!! Rita’s famous cheeseball recipe. I’ve heard about it… they’ve raved about… and at last, here it is — Rita’s Famous Cheeseball!
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Chocolate Drizzled Cherry Bars

We clipped this recipe from a package of Land O’Lakes Unsalted Butter. We haven’t tried it yet, but how you can go wrong with this combination of ingredients?
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Jim’s Turkey Chili with Beans

Jim created this recipe after combing through a few of our many cookbooks for inspiration for a good chili recipe. He combined what he considered the best of each one into a new recipe of his own, and it’s now our one of our favorite go-to dinners served with a salad and Cast Iron Skillet Cornbread. For an excellent Chili Con Carne dip, simmer uncovered to cook down the liquid to create a thick chili.
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