Turkey Minestrone

This looks like a lot of ingredients, and it’s true. It is. It also looks time-consuming, and . . .well. . ., I guess it can be. But, it’s super simple — once everything is prepped, just let it simmer for about an hour, and you’ve got enough to feed lots of hungry mouths.

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 lb. lean ground turkey

3 ribs celery, roughly sliced

2 carrots, peeled and roughly sliced

1 small onion, peeled and sliced

1 medium Irish potato, peeled and roughly chopped

1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, large diced

1/2 cup chopped (pickled or fresh) jalapeño peppers (if you like a little heat)

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

1/2 bag frozen pearl onions

1/2 bag frozen green peas

6 cups vegetable stock

seasoning of your choice

2 zucchini or yellow squash (or one of each), roughly sliced

5 or 6 baby Bella mushroom caps, sliced

1 small bag cavatelli (or other curly-shaped) pasta, cooked according to package directions.

3-4 cups baby spinach

Parmigiano-Reggiano or Feta cheese, for garnish

1 lemon, cut in wedges

Step 1: In a LARGE stockpot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute the ground turkey until it’s no longer pink, about 5 minutes, depending on your cookware. Add celery, carrots, onion, and potatoes. Turn up heat to medium-high and saute until veggies get soft, probably about 15 minutes. Add the Ro-Tel, jalapenos (if desired), beans, garlic, pearl onions, and peas. Cover with stock, season to taste, and bring to a simmer. Let cook over medium-low heat for about 45-60 minutes.

Step 2: Add in the squash and mushrooms and simmer an additional 10-12 minutes, or until squash is cooked al dente. (*Note: you can either cook the pasta separately or add it to the soup now and let it cook).

Step 3: **Don’t leave out this step; it’s what really makes the recipe.  Place 1/2 cup baby spinach in the bottom of each serving bowl and ladle the hot soup on top; the hot soup will wilt the spinach perfectly. Top with grated Parm-Regg or Feta cheese and a squeeze of the fresh lemon.

*Recipe inspired by Jeff Mauro; The Kitchen; Food Network