This is my absolute favorite time of the year. Not only is it officially Slow Cooking Season, the leaves are crunchy, and the pumpkins are out. It's still too hot, here, to wear bulky sweaters --- but I've got them pulled out from under-the-bed storage and on the ready.
Today's soup was an inspiration from a recipe my mom printed out from Cooking.com. I liked the idea of using cooked bacon for the smoky flavor, but didn't want to thaw any out and actually cook it -- so I improvised and used Liquid Smoke (and cut out a bunch of fat, too!). I also used fresh instead of deli turkey and omitted the cocoa powder.
The soup I ended up with is perfect. I gobbled (ha! that wasn't even a premeditated turkey reference!) down a bowl and a half before Adam came home with the kids from soccer practice, then sat and ate another full bowl with them at the table. (I didn't want to tell them that I already ate. That would be rude, and I'm a very polite person...)
serves 6 (freezes well!)
1.5 pounds turkey cutlets
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (no need to thaw)
1 cup frozen corn
1 small onion, peeled and diced
1 (15-ounce) can black beans (use the whole can; there's no additional salt added)
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes (the whole can)
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
4 cups chicken broth
(salt to taste if needed at the table)
Use a 6-quart slow cooker. I didn't pre-brown anything--- this is a complete dump and go recipe, and can be left for a long period of time. Load everything into the cooker---- there's really no need to follow a certain order; it's soup. It's all going to get stirred around anyway.
Cover, and cook on low for 7 to 9 hours; I cooked ours on low for exactly 8 hours.
Remove turkey cutlets with tongs, and shred the meat completely. Return to the pot and stir well. If desired (I did do this), pulse a few times with a hand-held immersion blender to naturally thicken the broth. If you don't have a hand-held immersion blender, you can remove a cup of the soup and blend it in a traditional blender, then return to the pot and stir to combine.
The smoky flavor really comes through, and makes the house smell absolutely wonderful while it's cooking. I liked how the spinach mixed around with the beans and the corn -- my kids didn't try to pick out the spinach at all, but instead happily ate their dinner. I served drop biscuits made from Pamela's gluten free baking mix on the side.
Enjoy your Crocktober!
past Crocktober favorites:
zesty burger soup
vegetarian tortilla soup
sausage and lentil stew
tex mex pot roast
vegetarian stuffed bell peppers