What have you been doing to “escape” during the pandemic? Other than writing this blog, hiking, and doing a LOT of cooking, my sister and I started having writing calls a few months ago. She and I share a love of writing, and as pre-teens and early teenagers, we used to write poetry constantly. We’d pick topics, or starting lines or a structure pattern and then we’d sit there in our sweaty hot attic bedroom and write for hours. Then we’d submit our poetry, as bad as it may have been, to magazine after magazine. We’d be thrilled to receive a rejection letter in the mail, even more so if someone bothered to write a personal note on the form letter suggesting a different publication or perhaps a different hobby!
Writing during a pandemic
But for the past few months we’ve been doing a call each weekend and doing writing exercises. Some I got from a very cool writing prompt toolbox I bought during a weekend trip to Cape Cod years ago. Other prompts I discovered on a website called amyisaman.com. Still others I’ve come up with on my own for use when I’m interviewing people for marketing positions at work. Now I have to be honest, when I first saw that URL, amyisaman.com, I thought it was “Amy is a man.” Cool website URL, and very easy to remember. But in truth, it’s a writer named Amy Isaman, and I find her work is inspirational. So we’ve revisited the site a few weekends in a row to use prompts, and I’ve even written to Amy a few times to thank her for her work. Of course I never told her I thought she was a man, but now if she reads this blog she might be offended. I hope not. In any case, today was the deadline for my sister and I to submit a non-fiction piece to the Readers Write section of Sun Magazine. Unfortunately, my niece unexpectedly got sick, and my sister may or may not have time to finish her submission, but mine has been finalized (as final as it could get in an hour) and submitted. We’ll see if it gets published. Fingers crossed!
Turkey Soup and Writing
But today I’m writing about Turkey Soup with Lemon, Farro and White Beans. Wow, how did all this connect? Well, my brain functions in odd ways. The theme for the piece I wrote for the magazine was “bread.” While I was writing my article for Sun Magazine, I thought about how much my father loved bread, and how he also loved a good, thick soup. Ta da! Turkey Soup. This one was made with leftover meat from a roast turkey I made recently. So very “stick-to-your-ribs” as my father would have said, and the lemon brings a bit of sunshine to what is our current, cold drizzly day.
Turkey Soup with Lemon, Farro and White Beans
- 3 TB basil infused olive oil
- ½ large onion, minced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup mixed, chopped baby bok choy and baby spinach leaves (you can use all of one or the other if you want)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp curry powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 6 cups turkey/chicken stock
- Zest from one lemon (I use a microplane because I don’t like to have to pick out the zest)
- ¾ cup farro
- 2 cups chopped cooked turkey (mix light and dark meat)
- 2 TB lemon juice
- 1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or dutch oven. Add onion and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until onion is translucent. Add garlic and cook another minute, then mix in the spices and a pinch of salt. Stir well.
- Add the stock to the pot along with the lemon zest, bok choy and spinach, bring to a simmer, and add farro. Cook for about 20 – 30 minutes until the farro is cooked.
- Add chopped turkey, lemon juice, white beans, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 5 minutes or so until turkey and beans are heated through.
Serve with your favorite crusty bread for dipping. My favorite recipe for crusty bread would tie in nicely to my story above, but would also be a great addition if you can plan just a bit of time for rising the bread first.
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