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Smoked turkey leg with sweet potato, kale and shiitakes- a hearty winter soup

smoked turkey soupWhat is that perfect winter soup that you crave? Do you have a favorite? Love some chili or hearty beef stew. This weekend I sort of invented a new favorite. My husband and I had a table set up in our local farmer’s market craft fair (see the crafty goods here) and by afternoon we were ready for some vendor eats! I was surprised and delighted to find out that one of the food trucks had smoked turkey legs. Have you seen those things? Huge! It was more than enough meat for both of us to share awkwardly between prospective customers. Not too easy to eat with a plastic fork either. But anyway, I told him “hold onto that leg- I’m going to make a soup out of that bone!” And so there you have it- the beginnings of a new favorite recipe…


Since the flavor if a smoked turkey leg is so similar to ham, I tried to think of what would taste good with it- definitely a sweet taste… “ah, sweet potato” and some dense green “hey, I’ve still got that kale growing in the front yard.” And I had just purchased some dried mushrooms at the asian market last week, and I knew that would be a good addition.  So here’s the recipe roughly:

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Smoked Turkey Leg Sweet Potato Soup with Kale and Shiitakes

1 (large) smoked turkey leg (can also used a ham hock if you cannot score a turkey leg)

2 cups diced sweet potatoes (dug from my front yard garden)

1 large bunch of kale, stems removed and torn into bits (also from the front yard)

2 vidalia onions finely chopped

1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms (can use fresh mushrooms instead, but the flavor is better with dried)

1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil

1 small handful of dried wakame seaweed (optional)

1 tablespoon wheat free tamari (optional)

water or broth



Heat your cooking oil on high and add the onions. Cook a few minutes until translucent. Add about a quart of water or broth and add smoked turkey leg and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Then add sweet potatoes, mushrooms and seaweed and cook for 40 minutes. Lastly add the kale and tamari, if needed for flavor. I needed the tamari because I used water instead of broth and my turkey leg was three-quarters eaten. Remove the turkey leg bone before serving, or leave it in for a rustic effect:).

Enjoy with some nice aged cheese or a hot gluten free crusty roll!



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