Smoky Turkey and Black Bean Soup

Happy Crocktober!! 

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 

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...)

The Ingredients
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)

The Directions

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 Verdict

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:

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Posted by: Stephanie O'Dea | A Year of Slow Cooking at October 02, 2012

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What they say about this article

  1. Anonymous10/02/2012

    Steph, thank you again. I do subscribe to a few blogs, and it just so happened today that one of them posted a crockpot recipe, and happened to appear right before yours. I clicked on it, read it, and it was deleted because it called for cooking too much of it before it ever made it to the crockpot. Really- like 40 min or so, and then, the crockpot was the warmer. No thanks. and then I opened yours. NIGHT AND DAY. as usual. Yours is full of goodies. Veggies. Yummy goodness. and my favorite parts- dump it all in. Thank you again. :))Lookin' forward to the cooler temps for the soup--108 degrees today in So. Cal! :)))) Christal

  2. Anonymous10/02/2012

    Yum!! Thanks forever. ~Margaret

  3. Can't wait to try this soup with this weekends Thanksgiving leftovers (Monday the 8th here in Canada) - it looks like a nice change from the usual turkey soup!

  4. This sounds fantastic, I will definitely print it and the next one for the lemon chicken - my kids love drumsticks. Except when I clicked on your print button I got a screen full of html garbage. Is it just me?

  5. Hi Jen,
    oh no! I just tested it, and it's working okay for me. it's a pop-up window, I wonder if you need to enable pop-ups or turn down a security setting?
    I can email you the recipe if you'd like, if you're still having trouble.

  6. I am 'souper' excited about soup season too! (Haha! I couldn't help myself!) I like your addition of fresh turkey in lieu of deli meat.

  7. Hubby and I just enjoyed this for dinner. I made it with turkey kielbasa instead of liquid smoke and turkey. Because, to be honest, I read the name as Smoked Turkey SAUSAGE and Black Bean Soup. I was excited since I knew I had turkey kielbasa in the deep freeze so I didn't have to make a grocery run. (Subliminal, I suppose) I forged ahead with the kielbasa and this was fantastic! Thank you once again!

  8. Made this with chicken (had it in the freezer) and it was AWESOME! Even one of the picky twins loved it and ate 2 bowls. The house smelled wonderful and the soup was just delish -dipped fresh hot sourdough bread into it and enjoyed! Thank you for sharing this recipe; it has been added to my family favorites file.

  9. Just made this. We used chicken instead of turkey and smoked in a smoker 1.5 hours (rather than using liquid smoke). Also added a little rice for texture. The result was AMAZING! One of my favorite soups.

  10. So I'm thinking ground turkey should be fine for this?? And do you think it would work more stew-ish? How much less broth should I use?

  11. Anonymous11/06/2012

    I used three turkey drumsticks instead of the turkey cutlets, since I think the dark meat is more flavorful. I then took the meat off the bones and cut it into chunks. I also cut the Tabasco in half because I'm a wuss about hot foods. Wonderful soup! A definite keeper!