Bowl of the Wife of Kit Carson (Turkey Leg Soup With Chickpeas)

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“This is the original, from-scratch recipe from Kit Carson's granddaughter, as given to Sam Arnold, original owner of the Fort Restaurant in Denver, Colorado. Adapted from Time-Life Foods of the World. Although there are many versions using cooked chicken and prepared broth, the original uses raw turkey legs and cooks them in seasoned water to make a savory soup. The avocado slices are Arnold's addition, so I have made them optional. If using frozen turkey, defrost thoroughly before cooking. Prep time includes time to soak the chickpeas (garbanzos). Carson City, the capital of Nevada, is named in Kit Carson's honor.”
14hrs 30mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Drain garbanzos well. Do not save water.
  2. Place garbanzos in a large pot or Dutch oven.
  3. Add the 2 quarts water.
  4. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until garbanzos are tender, about 1 hour.
  6. Remove garbanzos with a slotted spoon and set aside, reserving water.
  7. Add turkey legs to the cooking water. If there is not enough liquid to cover, add a little water.
  8. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, skimming any foam that forms on top.
  9. Add onion, bay leaf, salt and peppercorns.
  10. Reduce heat to low, partially cover, and simmer until turkey is cooked and tender, about 45 minutes.
  11. Remove turkey legs and set aside.
  12. Strain and reserve liquid. Discard solids.
  13. Remove meat from turkey legs, cut into 1" cubes, and set aside. Discard skin and bones.
  14. Bring liquid to a boil over high heat.
  15. Stir in rice and oregano, and reduce heat to low.
  16. Cover tightly and simmer until rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  17. Stir in garbanzos, turkey and chilies.
  18. Simmer just until all ingredients are heated through, 4-5 minutes.
  19. Ladle into a serving bowl and top with cheese and parsley.
  20. If using avocados, arrange on top.
  21. Serve hot.

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