Homemade soup day: How to make the easiest Latin soup ever! (EXCLUSIVE RECIPE)

I love soup. No, like, I really, REALLY love soup. That's why I couldn't be happier that today is homemade soup day, since making soup at home is one of my favorite activities ever.

One of the things I love most about making soup at home, though, is taking an "everything but the kitchen sink at home." I know a lot of people who are afraid of cooking without a recipe, which is why making soup is the perfect way to get comfortable with your cooking abilities and start trying new things. Why? Because it's really hard to mess up soup. No, really! There is a basic recipe that you can follow to create your own delicious dish--just like I did with my fantastic 3-bean, turkey, kale and rice soup. Try it!


Read more ¿Qué más? Hearty vegetable soup great for weight loss! (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

That's how I started my soup, with just the basics. First, I sautéed some onions, added garlic, and finally carrots. Some soups call for celery at this point, too, but I didn't have any on hand. Then I added chicken stock and some of my favorite spices: Spanish smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, chipotle powder, and chili powder. Then I added chicken broth (though veggie would have been fine, too) and a can of fire-roasted tomatoes.

I started mixing everything together, tasting it and making sure that the flavor was good. Then, slowly, I began to add my "kitchen sink" ingredients. For me, this typically means a protein, a starch, and a dark, leafy green vegetable. For this soup, I threw in some turkey that was leftover and frozen from Thanksgiving, 3 small cans of beans that I bought ages ago and never used, some kale that I got on sale and, finally, some rice just because I wanted to. Finally, I added some more of the spices for flavor and--voila!--the soup was done.

The soup was amazing and, even better, I was able to use a lot of the things that I already have. I added ingredients just because I wanted to and I find that this is usually a pretty solid way to make soup. Sure, there are some recipes that you have to follow word for work, but there are other recipes that are fun to play with and adapt to your own tastes--and what you currently have in the fridge. I'm sharing the recipe for my soup, below, but I really encourage you to try your hand at improvising a soup, too.

After all, today is homemade soup day and that means you should definitely be cooking up something delicious!

3-Bean, Turkey, Kale & Rice Soup

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large red onions, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 large carrots, sliced
16 cups of chicken stock
1 can (28 oz.) fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 can (10.5 oz.) of black beans
1 can (10.5 oz.) of pink beans
1 can (10.5 oz.) of cannellini beans
3 cups cooked, sliced turkey (thawed if it was frozen)
2 cups cooked rice
2 bunches of kale, chopped
3 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika, or to taste
2 tespoons chipotle powder, or to taste
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 teaspoons chili powder, or to taste
salt & pepper, to taste

1. In a large pot (about 15 quarts, or you can half the recipe and make less), pour in the olive oil, then put in the onions. Sauteé until they start to get golden and soft, then add in the garlic and carrot slices.

2. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then pour in half of your chicken stock and the can of diced tomatoes. Add in half of your seasonings, including salt and pepper to taste.

3. Add in your beans, then bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat and add in the turkey, letting it simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add in the rest of your chicken broth and bring to a boil again, then lowering to simmer.

4. Add in the cooked rice and chopped kale, then continue to simmer the mixture until the kale is cooked through (about another 10 minutes).

5. Finally, taste your soup and season as desired. Personally, I added in just enough of the spices to give the soup a bit of a throat-warming kick but not make it spicy. However, you should customize this to your family's tastes.

6. Once your soup is perfectly spiced, simply turn off the heat and serve!

Note: Store leftover soup in tupperware containers in the freezer for up to 2-3 months. To warm up, defrost in the refrigerator the day before, then re-heat by bringing the soup to a gentle boil, then simmer for 5 minutes and serve again!

Image via Irina Gonzalez

Topics: latin recipes  spicy food  soup