I’ve been cooking dried beans since I was old enough to reach the stove. I’ve had just about every variety under the sun and I’ve loved them all. So when I tell you this bean soup is one of the best I’ve ever had, that’s saying something!
I wanted to craft a recipe folks could use with leftover Thanksgiving turkey. But I didn’t want to have to cook a whole turkey this close to Thanksgiving to do it so I used what’s likely some of the most underrated items in your grocer’s meat department or butcher shop: smoked turkey wings and legs!
I don’t know if it’s just my neck of the woods, but I haven’t been able to get good ham hocks around here for quite a while. I officially gave up on them a year or so ago after ruining a pot of crowder peas with punky ham hocks. And that’s when I joined the smoked turkey wing camp.
So, a few things to know about this soup! You can make it with plain ol’ leftover Thanksgiving turkey or you can make it any time using the smoked wings or legs. Or you could totally make this with chicken!
If you can’t find the 15 Bean Soup in your local grocery stores, ask for it! My grocery store now carries all sorts of products they didn’t have before simply because I asked for them. Just ask the cashier who to talk to to request a product and s/he will point you in the right direction. My store has a list at the Customer Service desk where they notate products their customers' request.
15 Bean Turkey Soup
1 large onion, diced
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 cups chicken broth
1 20-oz. bag Hurst’s 15 Bean Soup
2 turkey wings or legs (see notes)
Sauté onion in butter in a large pot or Dutch oven for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic, chicken broth, beans (with included seasoning packet) then stir well. Add turkey pieces to pot then heat over medium-high heat until simmering. Once simmering, cover pot then reduce heat to low and simmer for 4 hours.
Remove turkey pieces from pot, cover tightly and set aside. Continue cooking beans for 1-2 more hours or until beans are tender. Taste for seasoning and add salt if desired. Depending on which sort of turkey you’re using, there’s a good bit of variance in salt needed. You may not need any at all.
Remove meat from turkey pieces, discarding skin and bones. Shred turkey into bite-sizes pieces using two forks then add turkey to beans. Stir well.
Remove from heat, cover, and let soup rest for 30 minutes before serving.
- You can use roasted, fried or smoked turkey wings or legs. I used 4.5 lbs of wing sections.
- When I say 2 wings, I mean 2 full wings; each including the drummette and the wingette (or ‘flat’). Or you could think of it as 4 wing sections. I actually prefer the 2-bone section as it has whiter, more tender meat.
- You can also use 4 cups chopped leftover turkey meat instead of the wings or legs. Just stir it in 1-2 hours before the soup is done (don’t let it cook the whole time or it will get dry).
- Yes, you can cook this in a crock pot! Cook the same way replacing the 4 hours on the stove with 6 hours on high in the crock pot.
- If you can’t find Hurst's 15 Bean Soup in your market, please ask your grocer for them. Until then, you can order them online :)
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This recipe was featured at the Weekend Potluck!
The development of this recipe was sponsored by Hurst's Beans. As always, all opinions are my own.