Thursday, May 28, 2009

Apple Cranberry Salad

3-4 oz package salad greens (about 1/2 bag of Harmony Valley Salad Mix)
1 medium apple, sliced (either peeled or not)
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sliced green onions or chives
Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing (I like Annie's Naturals brand--but use whatever you like)
1/4-1/2 cup feta cheese is a nice addition to this salad

Toss greens, apples, walnuts, cranberries, onions and feta (if using) in large bowl.
Add dressing; toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Adapted from

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Friends for dinner

We had friends join us for dinner on Monday, a couple and their three teenage sons. What a joy to cook for. They are very adventurous eaters and willing to try anything and eat it with gusto! I made marinated roast pork loin served with a citrus sauce. The flavor was great but the cut of meat made it very difficult to carve. The meat was not from one of my usual farmers and I won't buy a roast from this one again. We had a sweet and spicy red pepper chutney. The silly recipe called for 3/4 teaspoon of jalapeno pepper--I mean why bother. I used a whole pepper and left in the seeds. We all loved it. Delightfully spicy. I made a side dish of fingerling potatoes, mushrooms and peas seasoned with marjoram. My friend brought a wonderful asparagus salad with morel mushrooms. I also made a double batch of the Buttermilk Biscuits with Goat Cheese and Chives that I previously posted the recipe for. The guys really loved these. I didn't have so much as a crumb left. For dessert we had Apple Rhubarb Crisp served with Blue Marble whipped cream. This is a great dish to use some of your CSA farm rhubarb in.

Apple and Rhubarb Crisp

2 1/2# tart apples, peeled cored and sliced
1# fresh rhubarb, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup water

3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks)
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine the sliced apples, cut up rhubarb, raisins, brown sugar, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and water. Place in a 9x13-inch baking dish.

Topping: Melt butter. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in the two types of sugar. Add the cinnamon and baking powder and stir to blend. Next, add the flour and work the mixture until crumbly. I used a pastry cutter. You could also use your hands. Add pecans and mix in. Sprinkle crumbly topping evenly over the fruit mixture. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until bubbling and browned. Poke the crisp with a knife to make sure the fruit is tender. If the top is getting too brown, tent with aluminum foil. Let it set for 30 minutes before serving. Serve with either ice cream or whipped cream.

From a Penzey's 2001 Summer catalogue

Lemon Chicken with Sunchokes

I'm not really a big sunchoke fan, so I'm always looking for interesting ways to use them that I'll like.

Lemon Chicken with Sunchokes

This Mid-East inspired dish uses plenty of garlic, saffron, thyme and pine nuts to flavor the chicken and sunchokes. The cream may be omitted to suit dietary needs. I used it and found it added a nice richness to the dish.

1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 fresh lemon
2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided use
1# boneless skinless chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 teaspoon saffron
1 pound sunchokes, peeled (or not as you wish)
10 garlic cloves, peeled and halved (yes--use this many!)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (1 teaspoon dry if the fresh in unavailable)
1/4 cup pine nuts
Hot, cooked rice or fettuccine

Finely grate 1 teaspoon of zest from the lemon and set aside. Juice the lemons and set aside. Place a large, deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and swirl to coat the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle boneless, skinless chicken thighs on both sides with salt and pepper. Place in the hot pan and quickly brown them, turning only once. Remove to a plate and keep warm. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, remaining tablespoon of olive oil, chicken broth, and saffron threads to the skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring to loosen any browned bits. Add sunchokes and garlic cloves. Return chicken to the skillet, along with any accumulated juices. Reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes, until chicken and sunchokes are tender. Stir in cream and thyme leaves. Taste and adjust seasoning, if need be. Return to a simmer and cook an additional 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice or pasts and sprinkle with pine nuts to garnish.

Sunday Breakfast

We had a southern style breakfast that doesn't really have much of a recipe but I'll share what I did because it was delicious!

Ramps with Potatoes & Eggs

Cook 4 slices of bacon, remove from pan but don't drain the bacon fat. (I never said this healthy)
Fry about 1/2# of sliced unpeeled potatoes (or more if you like) and the sliced bulbs and stems from 1 bunch of ramps (8-10) until tender. I covered the pan so the potatoes cooked more quickly. Season with salt and pepper. When they are brown and tender, add the sliced ramp leaves and 4 beaten eggs. Cook the eggs until they reach the desired degree of doneness.

Serve with hot buttered cornbread. I posted a great cornbread recipe in an earlier post which is the one I made on Sunday morning. Its called Dairy Hollow House Skillet Cornbread. The recipe is from the Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon. Feel free to make any cornbread recipe you'd like to try from the book to serve with your ramps, potatoes and eggs--preferably one of the southern style corn breads. This is an essential cookbook for any fan of cornbread.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We're eating our greens!

We got up (not so bright and early) and went to the farmers' market on the west side of Madison. Obviously with our CSA box we don't need to buy vegetables, but we like to get our milk, yogurt, eggs, cheese, bread and meat there. Next we went and picked up our CSA box from Harmony Valley. We realized we better get busy eating our produce. We did this by starting out with greens for breakfast by incorporating sorrel into a quiche.

Sorrel and Goat Cheese Quiche

Premade pie crust (Whole Foods has a decent frozen whole wheat crust)
2-3 cups sorrel, coarsely chopped (1 bunch), don't use the tough stems
3-4 few scallions, chopped
4 ounces goat cheese (I used Dream Farm French Herb goat cheese)
3 eggs
1½ cups milk
Salt & pepper
Parmesan cheese, preferably freshly shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread goat cheese in the bottom of a pie crust. Cover with chopped sorrel and scallions. Beat eggs, salt, pepper and milk together. Pour over greens. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until top is golden brown and the custard is set (not liquid in the middle).

Source: two small farms blog spot by way of Luna Circle Farm

More greens for supper. This is almost not a recipe because it is so adaptable as well as very quick and easy.

Pasta with Asparagus and Spring Greens

10-12 ounces pasta, any short shape (I used whole grain rotini)
1 pound fresh asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves minced garlic
6-8 ounces fresh greens, whatever you have available. I used one bag of saute greens from Harmony Valley which I chopped before cooking.
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts (these are optional and not in the original recipe)
1/2 cup of either Parmesan, feta or crumbly goat cheese. I used Dream Farm feta.
Salt and pepper
Penzey's Pasta Sprinkle (also optional)

Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain.
Snap off woody ends of asparagus, then cut into 2 inch pieces.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the garlic for a minute or two. Add the asparagus, cover the pan and cook until crisp tender. Add the greens, cover and steam very briefly--about a minute.
Combine the pasta with the cooked vegetables. Sprinkle on the nuts (if using), cheese and Pasta Spinkle. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

I have no idea where the recipe came from.

Potato Parsnip Latkes

My husband prefers the addition of parsnips to potato pancakes and thinks they make a very tasty combination.

Potato Parsnip Latkes
1 large potato (8 to 10 oz), unpeeled
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 medium parsnips (1 lb total), peeled and coarsely grated
1 medium onion (about 1/2 cup), grated
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Canola oil as needed
Accompaniment: applesauce and/or sour cream
Preheat oven to 450°F
Coarsely grate potatoes into a bowl. Add lemon juice and toss to combine. Place potato on towel, then gather up corners to form a sack and twist tightly to wring out as much liquid as possible. Stir potato together with parsnips, bread crumbs, eggs, chives, baking powder, salt, and pepper until combined well.
Drizzle baking sheets with vegetable oil or spray with nonstick spray. Fill a 1/4-cup measure with latke mixture and place on baking sheets to form 3 inches diameter pancakes. Bake the pancakes in the oven until golden brown on one side (about 6-8 minutes), turn them over carefully with a spatula and brown the other side (about 5-6 minutes).
Serve with sour cream or sour cream and applesauce.

Adapted from and

Friday, May 22, 2009

Black Bean & Corn Salad

You might ask what does this recipe have to do with using produce from my CSA box? Nothing at all, but it it very good. Plus if you ever need to bring "black" food to work or elsewhere, this kind of fills the bill. I needed to bring "black" food to work to celebrate our department head's 50th birthday. Why--who knows?

Several people asked me for the revised recipe.

Black Bean and Corn Salad

1 can, 14 ounces, black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 red onion, chopped (any kind of onion is fine)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (seeded if you want the salad to be mild)
1 lime, juiced (if it isn't tart enough use more lime juice or lemon juice is OK too)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup chopped cilantro (or more if you like)
Salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Let stand at least 15 minutes for corn to fully defrost and flavors to combine, then toss and serve.

Adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe on the Food Network.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pasta with Ramps

I borrowed this recipe from A Good Appetite blog and made a couple of modifications for items I had on hand.

Creamy Sausage and Ramp Pasta

8 oz. Trader Joe's whole wheat fettuccine
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 precooked chicken Italian sausages
1 bunch ramps (8-10)
3/4 cup half & half (the fat free works fine in this dish)
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper to taste

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain & set aside.
Slice the ramps. Keep the leaves separate. Heat the olive oil, brown the sausage, bulbs and stems from the ramps until slightly softened. Add the half and half and cheese. Simmer until everything is warm. Add the cooked pasta and the ramp leaves. Stir until the leaves wilt slightly. Season with salt & pepper.

This is a quick easy dish and very satisfying.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Veggies for Breakfast?

When you're getting lots of vegetables in your CSA box, you need to think creatively as in--vegetables for breakfast.

Creamed Eggs with Spinach

2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 ounces smoked baby Swiss (or any cheese that you like)
4 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste

Spinach: About 4 inches of well-salted water 1 pound fresh spinach, washed very well, stems removed

Eggs: In a saucepan, melt the butter until shimmery. Add the onion and cook until just soft. Stir in the flour and let cook a minute. Add the milk slowly -- a tablespoon at a time at first, stirring in each new spoonful before adding the next. Add the cheese and let melt. Stir in the eggs and let warm through. Season with salt and pepper.

Spinach: Bring the water to a boil. Add the spinach, a handful at a time if necessary. Let cook until done, just a couple of minutes. Transfer to a colander to drain. Chop roughly after draining.

Arrange the cooked and drained spinach in serving bowls. Top with the creamed eggs. Garnish with chopped chives or dill if available.

From: A Veggie Venture

Another good recipe using chives

Buttermilk Biscuits with Goat Cheese and Chives

2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup of freshly chopped chives
5-ounce soft fresh goat cheese (I used Diana Murphy's Dream Farm goat cheese)
1 cup buttermilk (plus an extra tablespoon for finish)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a heavy baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. (I didn't do this and they didn't stick anyway.)
Whisk flour, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Using fingertips or pastry cutter, rub butter into dry ingredients until coarse meal forms. Stir in the chives. Add cheese and buttermilk; stir with fork just until a sticky dough forms.
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 8 times with floured hands. Do not over-knead! You may need a little more flour if the dough is too sticky. Form into a round, about 3/4-inch thick. Cut the round into 8 wedges. Use a pastry brush to brush on some extra buttermilk over the surface of the wedges. If you wish you can also make traditional round biscuits with the dough.
Arrange wedges about 1/2 inch apart on an ungreased large baking sheet and bake in middle of the oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Cool on a rack.
Makes 8 large biscuits. Best eaten just baked and warm, with a little butter.
From Simply Recipes
I made these biscuits which are shaped like a scone to serve with supper last night at my daughter's house. We had a wonderful meal of spicy grilled shrimp, potato salad, a salad of baby greens, fresh cheese and tomatoes, and the biscuits. For dessert I made a rhubarb apple pie with a walnut streusel topping.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Knife & Fork Egg Salad Sandwiches with Chives

This is a tasty egg salad recipe that a friend shared with me last spring. Its a good sandwich to make when chives are readily available.

6 eggs
1/2 cup finely chopped chives
1/4-1/2 cup finely chopped celery
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup mayonnaise (light is OK)
2 tsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. dijon mustard
4 slices whole grain bread, toasted and buttered (if desired)
Arugula (original recipe called for watercress)

1. Arrange eggs in a single layer in a medium pot and cover with cold water by 1". Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then immediately remove pot from heat. Cover and let rest for 8–10 minutes undisturbed. Drain eggs, leaving them in the pot; shake the pot to crack their shells. Cover eggs with cold water, swish around, then drain. Cover again, this time with icy-cold water (add a few ice cubes if necessary), and set aside to let chill for 20 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop eggs.
2. Combine eggs, most of the chives, celery, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl and fold together gently to combine. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, and mustard and fold again, being careful not to mash up the eggs.
3. Toast bread lightly, then butter each slice on one side. Arrange arugula on top of each piece of toast, buttered side up. Dollop each piece with a generous scoop of egg salad. Sprinkle with remaining chives.

Adapted from

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Roasted Asparagus

You've probably all tried roasted asparagus, but just in case you haven't, please do it.

1 lb asparagus spears (thick spears are best for roasting)
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher Salt
black pepper (Penzey's California pepper is very good on the asparagus)
Lemon juice (if desired)

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse clean the asparagus. Break the tough ends off of the asparagus and discard.
Lay the asparagus spears out in a single layer on a cookie sheet with a rim. Drizzle olive oil over the spears, roll the asparagus back and forth until they are all covered with a thin layer of olive oil. (Alternatively you can put the asparagus and oil in a plastic bag, and rub the bag so that the oil gets evenly distributed.) Sprinkle with minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Rub over the asparagus so that they are evenly distributed.
Place pan in oven and cook for approximately 8-10 minutes, depending on how thick your asparagus spears are, until lightly browned and tender when pierced with a fork. Drizzle with a little fresh lemon juice before serving (or not).

Adapted from Simply Recipes, a family food blog.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Love those Ramps!

I'm posting another very good as well as easy recipe using ramps. Its really sad that their season is so short.

Scalloped Potatoes With Ramps

6 cups sliced potatoes, peeled or unpeeled whichever you prefer
3 cups ramps, both bulbs and leaves, chopped (it was about 1 bunch which is what I had)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Place a layer of sliced potatoes in a buttered 1 1/2--2 quart casserole, (I used a 9" square baking pan) follow with the ramp and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Top with the remaining potatoes. Combine chicken broth and heavy cream; pour over potatoes and ramps. Bake covered at 375° for 45 minutes, then top with grated cheese. Return to the oven uncovered for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.

From Southern Food

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chicken with Morel Mushrooms & Ramps

It really doesn't get any better than this! A friend made me a present of some morel mushrooms. How lucky could I get. I had to make something wonderful with this offering.

Braised Chicken Thighs with Morels & Ramps in a White Wine Cream Sauce

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
8-10 morel mushrooms (or whatever you have)
bunch ramps, about a dozen, trim off the end and chop roughly
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon dried thyme (fresh is good if you have it available)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup half and half or light cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Flour for dredging

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Heat a large frying pan over high heat.
Generously salt and pepper chicken thighs on both sides. Dredge chicken in flour and shake off excess. Add olive oil and 1 tablespoons of butter to heated pan. When the oil begins to shimmer, add chicken to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. Allow chicken to brown for 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer chicken to a platter. Reduce heat to medium and add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. Add morels and white part of ramps. Saute for 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to saute for an additional minute. Put chicken back in the pan with the vegetables. Add wine, reduce to a strong simmer. Add thyme, marjoram and ramp leaves. Cook for about 1/2 hour or until chicken is tender and and wine is reduced by a third or more. Add cream. Do not boil, but make sure it is warm. Serve chicken with sauce over top.
I suggest serving this dish over egg noodles or parsley potatoes.

This is a recipe I adapted from the Marx Foods Morel Mushroom Recipe collection

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Potato, Leek & Sorrel Soup

I had a very large leek left from my cooking extravaganza on Saturday plus we got spinach and sorrel in our CSA box. I found this soup recipe on the Internet. It was created by Executive Chef Cris Comerford from the White House. It was supposedly served at the President's lunch on the day of his State of the Union address. Regardless of its origins, its a tasty soup.

1 tablespoon butter
1 large leek, or a comparable amount of smaller leeks--use the white and green parts that are clean and not too tough
4 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
4 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs thyme or more (I happened to have fresh thyme, but 1/2 tsp. or so of dried thyme leaves would also be fine)
1 bay leaf
4 medium potatoes, sliced
1½ quarts chicken stock
1 bunch sorrel leaves
1 cup spinach, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Cream to finish, either whipping cream or sour cream (optional)
We tried both in separate bowls of soup and they were both good.

1. Melt the butter in a medium soup pot over a medium heat. Sweat the leeks, garlic, shallots and herbs until translucent. Add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes. Pour in the chicken stock and reduce the heat to a simmer for around half an hour.

2. Use an immersion blender and purée until smooth. Add the sorrel and spinach; then pulse the blender a few more times to mix together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You may add a dollop of cream to finish, if desired.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

First CSA box of the season!

Saturday, May 9 we got our first CSA delivery of the season. I love most of the veggies and a couple I could live without. We got spinach, overwintered parsnips (very sweet), rhubarb, sunchokes, ramps (I LOVE RAMPS), sorrel, chives, winter black radishes and burdock. The last two items I wouldn't miss.

I usually plan what I'm going to do with my bounty right away but Saturday was a meeting of our gourmet group for dinner at our place. It was a wonderful meal, so I guess I'll digress and talk about our Taste of New England dinner.
Appetizer: Lemon Crumb-Broiled Sea Scallops (Lora)
Soup: New England Clam Chowder (Lora)
Salad: Cucumber Salad with Shaker Buttermilk Herb Dressing (Victoria)
Breads: Classic Parker House Rolls (Lora)
Steamed Brown Bread with Raisins (Edith)
Durgin Park Cornbread (Jim)
Main Dishes: Vermont Chicken & Leek Pie with Biscuit Crust (Edith)
Yankee Cafe Fresh Fish Cakes and Down East Crab Cakes (Victoria)
Shaker Roast Pork Loin with Cider-Sage Gravy (Mollie)
Side Dishes: Durgin Park Style Boston Baked Beans (Edith)
Shaker Whipped Winter Squash with Cape Cod Cranberries (Victoria)
Church Supper Broccoli and Cheese Bake (Mollie)
Fluffy Mashed Potatoes (Mollie)
Dessert: Best Boston Cream Pie (Lora)
Cranberry Apple Walnut Pie & Ice Cream (Edith)
Jim brought wonderful wines to accompany our fabulous repast.
My daughter, Tracy, from Chicago joined us for this dinner.

I made a spinach salad on Monday evening with homemade French dressing. I put in mushrooms, an avocado, tomatoes, green onions and hard cooked eggs. Very tasty. You can use almost any vegetables you like. The dressing was 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup canola oil, 1/3 cup red wine vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, salt & pepper.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Indian Carrot Salad

This very easy carrot salad is a recipe from a great cookbook, Six Spices, a simple concept of Indian cooking by a local Madison author, Neeta Saluja.

2 cups grated carrots
1 green chili, seeded and diced (if you prefer spicy leave the seeds in)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
2-3 teaspoons canola or sunflower oil*
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 dry red chili
4 to 5 fresh curry leaves**

Place carrots, green chili, and lemon juice in a bowl. Mix well. Heat oil in a small frying pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. Cover the pan and remove it from the heat. When mustard seeds stop popping, return the pan to the stove. Add red chili and curry leaves. Immediately pour the seasoned oil over the carrots and cover. After 1 minute, mix well and store in an airtight container. This can be done the night before you want to serve it.
Just before serving, add the salt and sugar; mix it well. This will help to maintain the salad's crispness.

Notes: *I've been using a cold-pressed locally produced sunflower seed oil that I like a lot.
**Depending on where you live you might not have access to fresh curry leaves. I'm able to buy them at a small Indian grocery store. According to the Asia Food Glossary: Curry leaves are as important to Asian food as bay leaves are to European food, but never try to substitute one for the other. Either you have them or you just have to skip it. If you get too many to use right away you can freeze them.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Lima Bean Soup

I'm on a dried bean kick at the moment. This recipe made a very satisfying soup.

1 pound dried baby lima beans, soaked over night
2 carrots, sliced thin
2 small – medium onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, sliced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
½ pound smoked turkey in a thick slice, cut into ½ inch cubes
2 tablespoons canola oil
¼ - ½ teaspoon cayenne
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken broth
4 cups water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

½ cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese--I actually used some goat milk cheddar that I had which worked fine
½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a pot and sauté onions, carrots and celery until softened. Add bay leaf and cayenne and cook another minute or so. Drain and rinse beans and add to pot. Add broth and water. Bring to a boil, and then lower to a simmer. Check beans at one hour and every 10 minutes until they are soft. Using a wooden spoon or spatula mash some beans against the side of the pot, stirring until soup is slightly thickened. Add the turkey and salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, put soup in oven proof bowls and top with the mixed crumbs and cheese. Place under broiler until topping is golden brown and serve garnished with the chopped parsley. If you don't feel like fooling around with the broiling, just sprinkle the topping on the hot soup. Its delicious just this way.