Today is the second day of The Great Turkey Challenge. It’s also getting cooler outside, which means it’s time for soup. I like soup in any weather, really, so I think that even it were ninety degrees outside today, I’d still find some reason for soup. There is just something inexplicably comforting about it, no matter the content. Soup is also a great way to utilize leftovers and vegetables that aren’t in their prime, if you know what I mean.
I scanned the Internet for some recipes and found a few that picked my curiosity. This one, however was different in some ways, one of which would be the addition of lentils. I like lentils a lot, and typically you can find at least two varieties of lentils in my pantry. But this recipe also had my all-time favorite soup ingredient – mushrooms, and I did happen to have those in my fridge as well. I was sold.
I did make a few modifications to it, however. I felt that blandness of the turkey breast meat had to be offset by something slightly more flavorful than water. I added home made chicken broth – found one last batch of it in the freezer. I also added a potato to thicken the soup.
Couple of notes I’d like to make. First, I felt that adding turkey in the end made the soup look and feel messy texture-wise. The flavor and color were good. I’d probably add some wine instead of soy sauce next time. Instead of turkey, I will use cubed ham. Another variation of this may taste better – bacon bits. I think if you render bacon bits instead of cooking oil and then saute onions and mushrooms in the fat, maybe partially removed, and then add the bits back to the soup, it would taste great. Definitely need to use stock. Said all that, I’d give this batch a “would make again with an asterisk” rating.
Here is What and How for this batch, with all the modifications I made:
Turkey, Mushroom & Lentil Soup
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 3-4 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 3/4 teaspoons salt
- 8 cups chicken,vegetable or mushroom stock
- 2 cups of cooked turkey meat, cubed
- 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
- 2-3 sprigs of thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small bunch of fresh parsley, chopped
- finely chopped chives or scallions for garnish
Melt butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Saute garlic and onion until fragrant and translucent, don’t brown.
Toss in mushrooms and thyme, saute for a few minutes until wilted. Add soy sauce and cook for another 2-3 minutes until soy sauce evaporates.
Add a little bit of stock at first, deglaze the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Add the remaining stock, bring to a boil.
Add lentils and bay leaf, stir once, reduce heat, partially cover and cook for about 20 minutes.
Add potato cubes, salt and pepper and cook until potatoes are soft.
Five minutes or so before potatoes are done, add turkey and parsley.
Serve, garnished with scallion or chopped parsley.