Monday, January 20, 2014

Creamy Sweet Potato, Kale and Smoked Turkey Soup

I have been gone from around here for nearly two months, and I'm sorry if you all came looking and I wasn't here. My husband was diagnosed with cancer beck in November and it has changed everything. Everything. More time spent in hospitals, and OR waiting rooms. I miss you. I've missed writing this blog, and especially, I've missed cooking. But since his ability to eat much is limited right now, cooking has taken a back seat to simple snacks like stewed fruit, grilled cheese and the occasional bowl of cereal. Not particularly interesting for a food blog.

A few weeks ago I had a lot of meals in the hospital cafeteria; while there are plenty of restaurants around Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, the weather was mostly in the single digits during the daytime, and only a crazy woman would venture out. I'm crazy, but not that kind of crazy. One day, after some sad and disappointing news from the surgeon, I went down to the cafeteria to drown my sorrows in soup.

They have pretty good food at Jeff; if you don't think so, you should try the dismal stuff they have at our local community hospital cafeteria, if you can ever find it open. Did I mention I've spent an awful amount of time hanging around hospitals? Anyway, the soup of the day was billed as Sweet Potato and Smoked Turkey Soup. Smelled wonderful and the color was gorgeous. The sweet potatoes were pureed into a creamy soup, and there were enough bits of smoky turkey and vegetables to keep it interesting. Soothing, satisfying and warming.  Good enough to know I could make a still better version. So here it is.

Please try to use organic vegetables in this if possible. More love in them. Fewer carcinogens, hopefully.  The easiest way to puree this soup is with an immersion blender. I use a Bamix. I've blown out practically every other brand until I got this Bamix. They invented the immersion blender, and they're made in Switzerland. Mine has lasted 8 years so far...Oh, and if you don't eat that piece of bread I have on the side of my bowl there, this soup is Paleo, dairy free, grain free, and gluten free, as long as your curry powder is gluten free. If you do dairy, a dollop of Greek yogurt, or sour cream on top would be nice.

Soothing creamy sweet potato, kale and smoked turkey soup.

Beautiful Creamy Sweet Potato, Kale and Smoked Turkey Soup

Two smoked turkey drumsticks (naturally smoked, free range if possible)
1 peeled large onion, studded with a single whole clove
1 bay leaf
1 large peeled carrot, sliced thick
1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 lb. sweet potatoes or orange yams, peeled and sliced into rounds
1 Tbsp curry powder, sweet or hot as desired
1 small bunch of Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale, sliced into ribbons (about 4 cups, packed)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Place the turkey drumsticks, the onion studded with the clove,  bay leaf, carrot, onion garlic and celery into a deep soup pot and fill with water until everything is covered by about 2" to3". Will probably be about 3 quarts of water. Bring to a boil, turn down to medium heat, partially cover and let simmer until the turkey is about to fall off the bone, about 45 minutes.

2. Remove the turkey, and set aside to cool. Remove the bay leaf, and the onion from the smoky stock. Remove the clove from the onion and discard the clove. Toss the onion back into the stock, along with the sweet potatoes, and the curry powder. Bring back to a boil, uncovered, and cook about 30 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are falling apart tender.

3. Puree your soup smooth in the pot with your immersion blender (or carefully in a regular blender); you should have about 1-1/2 quarts of pureed soup. Shred the turkey meat into bite sized bits, and add it, plus the kale to the pureed soup. Simmer about 15 minutes until the kale is tender and the flavors meld. Taste for salt and pepper, then serve.

Makes about 6 hearty servings.

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