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And the winning recipes are…

February 15, 2018 | VNA Staff | General | Recipes

In anticipation of VNA’s most delicious fundraiser, Art & Soup, coming up on Feb. 25, employees had a little soup competition of their own! Big congratulations to Rilla Eaton, whose Italian Turkey Burger Soup won Judge’s Choice, and Francie McNeil, whose Sicilian Peasant Stew with Asiago Cheese Soup won People’s Choice. And congratulations to Dee Sepcenko, whose Algo Con Repollo won Judge’s Choice in Council Bluffs. A special thanks to our judges, Peter Walsh, Katy Jetter and Angela Nichols.

Hungry? Well you’re in luck! Here’s their winning recipes:

Turkey Burger Soup

Rilla’s original recipe can be found here. She made it her own by using Italian Turkey Sausage instead of ground turkey. Also, she used all fresh herbs, which made a huge difference, and topped it off with grated parmesan. This soup would be perfect with a good piece of bread!


  • 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey breast
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups celery sliced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes not drained 28 oz
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil or 1 tsp. dry
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano or 1 tsp dry
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme or 1 tsp dry
  • 1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley


  1. Heat olive oil in large skillet.
  2. Add ground turkey, salt, pepper, onion and garlic to skillet and sauté until turkey is browned.
  3. Transfer to Dutch oven or pot.
  4. In same skillet add carrots and celery and sauté just until slightly tender (not too soft).
  5. Transfer to Dutch oven.
  6. Add tomatoes to skillet to deglaze (love the extra flavour that comes from the browned bits in skillet).
  7. Add beef broth, tomato paste and all the herbs (except parsley) to skillet and bring to a boil.
  8. Transfer to Dutch oven, stir to combine all ingredients.
  9. Simmer on low heat for 30- 40 minutes.
  10. Add parsley last 5-10 minutes of cooking.


Sicilian Peasant Stew with Asiago Cheese Soup

Francie notes this is a good vegetarian meal without the sausage too. You can add beans if you like. She notes to garnish with freshly shredded dry white cheese line Asiago, Romano or Parmesan cheese, fresh Italian parsley and a crouton or two if you like.


  • 28 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 1 green bell peppers
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 can Mancini toasted red peppers, cut into 3/4” slices
  • 2 onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 4 Italian sausage, cooked
  • 1/4 cup Italian seasonings
  • 2-3T vegetable better than bullion or 2 Knorr Vegetable bullion cubes
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2-4 T tomato paste
  • 2T sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Core, seed and slice all peppers and onions into 1/4×1” pieces, including Mancini roasted red bell peppers. Slice garlic thinly.
  2. Add chopped Mancini peppers, bullion, sugar and canned tomatoes plus 3 cans water to stockpot. Simmer on low.
  3. Use the drippings from the sausage (or 1T olive oil) to sauté garlic, onions and bell peppers for 4-5 minutes , then add to the stockpot. Add Italian herbs and bay leaf. Cut sausage into 1/8” slices and add to soup. Let it slowly cook on Med-low for 1.5-2 hours to reach full flavor. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Algo Con Repollo

½ lb bacon  cut into small pieces and browned

Drain most of the fat and sauté:

  • 1 small onion chopped up
  • 2 ribs celery chopped up
  • 1/2 head of (small) cabbage cut into bite size pieces

When they’re soft add:

  • 1 large can chicken broth
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (I use this instead of salt)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 large red potatoes cut into bite size pieces
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • You may need to add water to it if it gets too thick.


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