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Turkey bean soup in a bowl
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5 from 5 votes

Turkey Bean Soup

This is a sort of Southern cassoulet, a hearty mix of beans and meats good for cold days. As I mention above, the meats you use can vary, as can the beans. 
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 20 mins
Total Time2 hrs 40 mins
Course: Soup
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: turkey
Servings: 8 people
Calories: 463kcal
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 6 slices bacon
  • 1 or 2 wild turkey thighs, or 2 pounds other meat
  • 3 carrots, peeled and cut into discs
  • 2 medium yellow or white onions, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 quarts turkey, chicken or other game stock
  • 2 pounds shelly beans or fresh butter beans, or 1 pound dried beans that have been soaked overnight
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 pound sausage, cut into coins
  • 12 to 20 cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


  • In a large soup pot like a Dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until crispy. Remove the bacon. Eat a slice, then chop the rest and set aside. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  • Brown the turkey thighs in the hot bacon grease, turning as needed. Remove and set aside. Add the carrots, onions and celery and cook until soft, about 6 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two. 
  • Return the turkey thighs to the pot, add the stock along with another quart of water. Add the beans, thyme and bay leaves and salt to taste. Cover the pot and set in the oven for 2 hours -- 90 minutes if you are using store-bought turkey.
  • Check the turkey to see if it's tender. When it is, fish the thighs out and debone, then chop and shred a bit. Remember you will eat all this with a spoon, so that should guide you in terms of size. Return the turkey meat to the pot. 
  • Add the sausage, tomatoes and honey to the pot and stir well. Add more salt if you need it. Return to the pot and set back in the oven for 15 minutes. 
  • When you are ready to serve, stir in the parsley and reserved bacon, along with lots of freshly ground black pepper. 


Calories: 463kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 58mg | Sodium: 1344mg | Potassium: 865mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 4179IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 67mg | Iron: 4mg