Aunt Suzy says . . .

This recipe from Stephanie Meyer of Fresh Tart showed up in my Facebook feed at just the right time.  I had just made 5 quarts of turkey stock and had leftover turkey and many other ingredients on hand.  Plus, it was 9 degrees out – perfect for a hearty soup.  I added the term “old world” because it has many ingredients that fall into that category to me  – cabbage, turnip, potatoes, polish sausage, etc.  This is my riff on her original recipe, which used chicken/chicken stock.  This soup is slightly sweet, so I recommend serving it with a sour, hearty bread and sweet cream butter.  I’ll mention for you Minneapolitans that pictured is the Miche loaf from Rustica – a perfect complement!

1 medium onion, diced

1 leek, thoroughly rinsed and sliced (white part)

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

8 cups turkey stock

2 carrots, peeled and sliced

1 medium turnip, diced

2 russet potatoes, diced

2 smoked sausages*, sliced

1 cup shredded cabbage

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (or so) cooked turkey, diced

salt and pepper to taste

Coat the bottom of a dutch oven with the oil and bring to medium-high heat.  Add the onion and leek, turn the heat down to medium and saute for about 5 minutes until soft.  Add the garlic and saute 2 minutes more until fragrant.  Add the stock, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 1 hour, covered.  Add the carrots, turnip, potatoes, sausage, cabbage and thyme and simmer for 30 minutes uncovered, till vegetables are done and liquid is reduced.  I recommend that you check after 20 minutes to make sure that you don’t overcook the vegetables.  Add the beans, turkey, salt and pepper and heat to serving temperature.  This can be made ahead and reheated, but it won’t freeze well because of the potatoes.

*The recipe called for polish sausage.  I had chicken andouille sausage on hand so used it.  I think any smoked sausage would work well with this soup.


Aunt Suzy says . . .

This sandwich recipe for leftover turkey is a yummy departure from the norm of turkey and cranberry sauce sandwiches.  I received this in my weekly email from The Splendid Table, but the original came from Ellie Krieger whose recipes are always tasty and healthy!   This Greek salad in a pita pocket is easy to prepare and delicious to eat.  You could easily add other Greek salad staples such as red onion, Kalamata olives and tomatoes, but it’s really good exactly as prescribed.  If you don’t do dairy you can substitute your favorite hummus for the feta spread.  And don’t even consider skipping the mint – it’s what brings all the other flavors together!  This recipe serves 4 people with one sandwich each or 2-3 with healthy appetites.

The Feta Spread

3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (4 ounces)

3 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon dried oregano

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Combine the feta and yogurt in a small bowl, mashing any large chunks of cheese.  Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  (This spread will keep in the fridge for about a week.)

The Sandwich

4 whole-wheat pita pockets

4 large romaine lettuce leaves, torn in half or fourths

1 cucumber, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup mint leaves

3/4 pound sliced cooked turkey

To make a sandwich, cut a pita in half to form two pockets.  Warm the pita wrapped in foil in the oven for a few minutes before this step if you like.  Line each pocket with half a lettuce leaf. Spread 2 heaping tablespoons of feta spread into each pocket. Then fill each pocket with about 6 cucumber slices, 4 or 5 mint leaves, and 2 or 3 slices of turkey. Serve immediately or wrap in foil to go.

White Chili - Sweet and Savory Kitchens

Aunt Suzy says . . . .

White Chili – delicious but not widely known!  When I moved to Minnesota from the San Francisco Bay area years ago, my co-workers threw me a going away party. They were instructed to bring a gift that would either remind me of  California or prepare me for Minnesota.  One of the gifts was a box of white food designed to introduce me to the cuisine of Minnesota – things like marshmallow fluff, mayonnaise, white rice, etc.  This was a hoot, but I didn’t think much further about it until my first week in Minnesota when I found myself in a Lund’s restaurant on a chilly day with my new Minnesota co-workers.  I saw chili on the menu and thought it sounded perfect.  When I ordered it, the server asked me if I wanted the white chili or the red chili – white chili?  Of course, I had to order the white given my white food gift and I loved it! I had never heard of white chili before, but I knew I had arrived in Minnesota.  This is an adaptation of the dish I first had 17 years ago!

Cooks Notes:  This recipe calls for chicken or turkey broth and chicken or turkey meat.  It is easily made meatless or vegetarian by substituting mock chicken broth powder+water for the broth and omitting the meat.  I almost always make this with canned beans, using a combination of great northern and cannellini.  Today, I decided to start with dried beans, same combination.  What a delightful difference in flavor – but then it takes extra time.  Either way, this freezes well so make a bunch!


1 pound dried or 3 15-ounce cans white beans

6-8 cups chicken or turkey stock OR water with mock chicken broth powder

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 medium yellow or white onions

4-6 cloves garlic

2-3 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 4-ounce cans diced green chiles

2-3 cups cooked chicken or turkey, diced (omit for meatless or vegetarian)

Garnish: sliced green onions, chopped cilantro, diced seeded tomato, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream, tortilla chips

Preparing the Dried Beans

Put dried beans in a pot and cover with 3 inches of filtered water.  Bring to a boil, turn off heat and let sit for 45 minutes.  Drain the beans and then put them in a large soup pot or dutch oven.   Add the broth – more or less depending on how thick you want the chili.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour until beans are cooked, but not mushy.  Set the pot aside while you make the chili base.

Making the Chili

Coat a saute or frying pan with the vegetable oil.  Bring to medium-high heat and add the onions.  Saute, stirring , for 5-8 minutes until soft and starting to brown.  (Turn down the heat to medium after about 2 minutes)  Add the garlic and saute 1 minute, then add the cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper and saute 1 more minute.  Add the diced green chiles and saute for 2 more minutes.  Add this mixture to the pot of white beans/broth.  Put the pot back on the burner, bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  If the chili is soupier than you want, you can simmer with the lid off for part of all of the 30 minutes to thicken and concentrate the flavors.  Otherwise, simmer covered.  IF USING CANNED BEANS: Follow the saute instructions, but in a soup pot or dutch oven.  Add the broth and canned beans, bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

Finishing and Serving the Chili

When ready to serve, add the chicken or turkey meat.  Stir and heat until serving temperature, but don’t bring to a boil again. Ladle into bowls.

Place the garnishes on the table so people can add the things they want to their individual bowls.  Serve with Orange and Avocado Salad and Harvey Cornbread.

Orange & Avocado Salad

Chop 1 head romaine lettuce.  Make a dressing of olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper.  Toss with the lettuce, then place on a platter.  Peel 2 oranges with a knife, cutting off all rind and pith.  Slice and cut each slice into quarters.  Arrange over the lettuce.  Place 3 slices of red onion cut into half moons and one sliced avocado on top of the lettuce.  Drizzle with a little more dressing.  Garnish with chopped cilantro.