Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Pumpkin, Turkey, & Tomato Soup

It's that time of year, when everything is pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. Amid the lattes and muffins, there skulks a more intriguing prospect—at least for me—the recipes for savory pumpkin dishes. Recently, I made up a pot of soup using this pumpkin chili recipe as a springboard. I wanted something lighter, more along the lines of a white chili, but with tomatoes. This soup has a sage and smoke flavor (like sausage) and a bisque-type consistency. It combines two fall staples, turkey and pumpkin, into a hearty, healthy soup that's perfect for lunch or anytime!

Tomato, Turkey, and Pumpkin Soup

1 to 1.5 lbs ground turkey
1 – 15 oz can cannellini beans, drained
2 – 14 oz cans (or 1 28oz can pumpkin puree
2 – 28 oz cans tomatoes (1 crushed and 1 diced)
4 cups chicken broth (I used Swanson low sodium)
1 large onion, diced
1 large green pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1.5 tsp coarse sea salt
.5 tsp fennel seed
2 to 2.5 tsp dried sage
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
.5 tsp smoked chipotle pepper
.5 tsp dried basil
.5 tsp or a few dashes of liquid smoke
1 large bay leaf


  1. Brown turkey in a large soup pot on medium heat.
  2. Transfer meat to a separate bowl and saute onion, diced green pepper, diced poblano pepper, and garlic until translucent and caramelized. Deglaze the pan with a little stock if necessary. (I like to use black coffee.) Reduce heat a little and reintroduce the turkey.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes, pumpkin, and beans.
  4. With a mortar and pestle, crush the coarse salt with the fennel seed until ground fine. Add the sage, black pepper, chipotle pepper, and basil; grind again. Add this mixture to the liquid with the bay leaf and liquid smoke.
  5. Simmer on low heat for an hour or so, stirring occasionally, scraping the bottom and sides. The soup will be somewhat creamy.
Serve with some light cheese if you like, perhaps fresh grated Parmesan or a little fontina. Popcorn would make a fun side, but the soup is fine on its own. Leftover turkey could be used instead of ground turkey. Toss the meat in with the onions and pepper and make sure everything is warm and evenly seasoned.