All You Really Need is Soup

“Only the pure of heart can make good soup”

Winter is a good excuse to make hearty soups, something that is true in my house. Mr BT is a world class soup maker. His repertoire includes: chicken soup, lentil soup, onion soup, vegetable soup and cauliflower soup. He always makes a big pot for us to enjoy throughout the week or he freezes some of it to enjoy whenever we want. As the lovely quote from Beethoven states, Mr BT puts his heart and soul in his soups. I am a lucky woman.

Like most of Mr BT’s creations, the recipe for this soup can vary according to what vegetables are seasonally available. You can also substitute lentils or barley for the chickpeas. You may find turkey soup a little unusual: Mr BT decided to start using turkey as a partial or complete substitute for the more common chicken because it has a stronger flavour and has much more meat that similar cuts of chicken.

Mr BT's Turkey and Vegetable Soup
Servings: 10 liters (2 gallons)
  • 2 cups dried medium chickpeas
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 large yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 6 large cloves garlic chopped
  • 8 large carrots quartered lengthwise and sliced 6mm (1/4 inch) thick
  • 1/2 head celery dark green leaves removed, sliced
  • 20 juniper berries
  • 3 large sprigs fresh oregano
  • 6 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 4 turkey wings separated or 2 turkey necks, cut into 8cm (3-inch) sections
  • 500 g 1lb beef soup bones
  • 1/2 head white cabbage cut lengthwise into six pieces and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium courgettes zucchinis, quartered lengthwise and sliced
  • 2 red and 2 yellow peppers cut into small chunks
  • 3 large tomatoes cut into small pieces, keeping the pulp
  • 3 heaping tablespoons of chicken soup powder mixed with a little hot water
  1. The night before making the soup, place chickpeas in a medium sized bowl, add baking soda and cover with enough warm water to leave 4cm (1-1/2 inches) above the chickpeas.
  2. Gently heat enough olive oil (not extra virgin) to saute the onions. Add onions and stir as they saute. After 10 minutes, add the carrots, the celery, juniper berries, thyme, oregano and bay leaves. Cover the pot and saute gently for another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure they do not stick to the bottom.
  3. Add soup bones and turkey, and continue to saute gently for another 20 minutes, covered. Add the cabbage, and continue to saute, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
  4. Add water (hot, if you have a kettle) to within 2.5cm (1 inch) of the top of the pot, bring to a boil, and then lower the flame to a rolling simmer. Add the chickpeas. Leave to simmer for at least 2 hours.
  5. Add the courgette, peppers, tomatoes and the soup powder mixture. Continue to simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve piping hot.
  6. This soup is better on the second and third day.
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