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Turkey Soup

January 15, 2011

This is not a post about Champagne.

And during this post I will attempt to refrain from mentioning Champagne (again), or how much I like ___________ (that bubbly stuff).

This post is about Turkey soup and repetition.

Or might I offer the phrase: Taste Bud Redundancy.

When it comes to certain foods and certain dishes, I have this habit of eating the same thing over, and over, and over again. For about four days straight. To be precise. Do you do that too?

My body and taste buds are just particular like that. They crave a certain flavor. I honor that crave. It lasts for about four days. Did I mention that?

If you are now thinking this is a clear case of body over mind, let me assure you I’ve thought of this already. It isn’t. It’s been discussed. Body and mind are in agreement. Thank you for your concern.

So once it was Frito pie. I was stuck on Frito pie and made it for dinner for at least three days straight. (Or was it four?) I really like Frito pie (apparently). The way I feel about Frito pie is the way many people feel about Las Vegas. It’s trashy (isn’t it?), it’s bad for you, but it’s just so damn good. What’s worse than melted cheddar cheese, white onions, salty corn chips and Hormel chili with out the beans?

An endless neon glow and a conversation for two hundred dollars?

Last week, I was enchanted by Cauliflower. Cooked with tomato, kale and almonds,  in a red curry-coconut sauce, it was at the time: everything right in the world. I served it with cilantro-jasmine rice. I ate the left overs the following night. Then in the spirit of Taste Bud Redundancy, on the third night, I made the entire dish all over again. On the fourth night, I partook in Cauliflower leftovers. Again.

I’d like to think I’m neither strange nor boring. Taste Bud Redundancy (food repetition) are a part of many people’s daily lives. I think it falls under the category of culinary rituals. We all have them. Including you.

Some people drink coffee every morning. Do you know any? Some get it from the same coffee shop, at the same time of morning, every day. Even from the same barista. They might also have a banana, and a butter croissant to accompany the non-fat extra hot, extra tall, extra splenda latte. This might happen, every. single. day.

It’s food repetition. It’s culinary ritual. It’s Taste Bud Redundancy.

We are all participants as much as we are victims of our own culinary vices.

And thank goodness there is not a Food Police. Or is there?

At the end of December, I had quite a bit of turkey meat on my hands. I may have mentioned (moaned and groaned) about the turkey, and tackling (delightfully eating) the aftermath of the remains.

I decided that the final farewell for the Turkey would be in a soup. Soups are easy and Soups are delicious. Inspiration also came from the cold and dreary weather of the past week.

I also had a few sweet potatoes left over (that weren’t used in making sweet potato biscuits). I wanted to incorporate them into the soup. I searched the web for Turkey and Sweet Potato soup and immediately found a recipe for such a soup on a blog called Kalyn’s Kitchen. The recipe looked incredibly straightforward, easy to make and very appetizing. I made a few adjustments in the version I made, which created a very spicy (nose running) and hearty soup.

And yes, I ate this soup for about four days straight. I may have even snuck in a bowl for lunch. It was just that good. Exactly what I was looking for. Repetition.

Spicy Turkey soup with Sweet Potato, Kale and Black beans


Left over Turkey meat- 3 cups or more

Turkey stock- about 2 quarts

chopped onion- half

chopped green onion- half bundle

sweet potatoes- 3, peeled and cubed

bunch kale or chard- chopped, some stems incl.

can chipotle chilis-  incl. liquid

can black beans

cilantro- handful chopped

Spices: 1 tsp. cumin, 1 Tbsp. chili powder,  1 tsp.all-spice, 1 Tbsp. mexican oregano, sage, salt and pepper.

*Exact measurements on spices vary. I shake here and I shake there.


In a large stock pot saute yellow onions, and green onions in a bit of olive oil. Cook until soft and translucent. Add spices to the onions and continue to cook down for a minute or so. Add the cilantro to the pot and cook down. Add the can of chipotle chilis and continue to cook, another minute or so.

Add all of the Turkey stock to the pot. Give it a good stir. Take a whiff of the pot, put your lips to your fingers and kiss. Big.

Add the chopped sweet potato, and bring the broth to a simmer.

When the sweet potatoes are cooked al dente, add the can of black beans, the turkey meat and the chopped kale. Let simmer for a moment more while you get out a large soup bowl.

Serve with a squeeze of lime and top with sliced white cheese. I used fontina (once), and white cheddar (the other few times).

The soup was also perfect with sweet potato biscuits. Cornbread would also work well. You might also sprinkle tortilla chips on top. These are all just details.

Enjoy the soup. I still have some saved in the freezer for the next cold and rainy day.

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