Soup beans with smoked turkey

I love beans. And when I make bean soup, I tend to make a bunch at a time, freezing most of it in serving-size and 4-cup containers for later use. Last time I made it, I didn’t think about just how many beans I’d soaked overnight…And the resulting batch of soup beans took up two stock pots to cook! I used smoked turkey legs to give the good, smokey flavor without the fat of ham. Here’s the recipe.

Soup beans with Smoked Turkey

This is a huge batch for freezing meals ahead of time. It makes 64 one-cup servings, each containing 125 calories and 1 gram of fat.

8 oz baby carrots
2 medium onions
1 green pepper
4-6 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
2 cups chopped celery
2 lbs. great northern beans (dry)
4 lbs. Pinto beans (dry)
3 turkey drumsticks (smoked, ready-to-eat)
2 14.5oz cans Red Gold chili ready tomatoes with onions
2 10oz cans diced tomatoes with green chilis
1 28oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
Non-stick cooking spray

Spices, to taste:

Italian seasonings, dry
Fennel seed
Crushed red pepper seed
Salt and pepper

If you don’t have a huge stock pot to accommodate all the ingredients, plan on splitting the ingredients equally between the pots.


You can use the quick soak method, bringing them to a boil, then removing them from the heat and covering them for an hour. Drain the soaking water from the beans and give them a little rinse before adding them to the cooking pot.

Alternately. you can soak the beans in cold water overnight, then drain and rinse them.


Spray a little non-stick cooking spray in the bottom of your pot and add the carrot, onion, pepper, garlic and celery. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent. Add beans and remaining ingredients. Add water as needed to bring liquid level up to about 1″ from top of pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until beans are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

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2 thoughts on “Soup beans with smoked turkey

  1. Oh, this looks yummy! One question, though. Could black beans be substituted or added? I have a bag of dried black beans, and I don’t cook much, so I’m trying to think of a way to use them.

  2. Hi, sarah — Sure, you could use black beans. The flavor might be a little different, but I bet it would be good. I’ve never met a bean I didn’t like. 😉

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