Dissolve 3 tablespoons sea salt in 4 quarts of water in a large pot. Stir in 2 cups dry cannellini beans and soak at room temperature overnight or for at least 8 hours. Drain and rinse well.
Chop 1 large onion, 2-3 large carrots, 2-3 celery stalks, and mince 2 cloves garlic. Heat oil in a large soup pot or pressure cooker over medium heat and cook onion, carrot, and celery caramelized, about 8 minutes. Mix in garlic and cook until fragrant. (If using a slow cooker, transfer softened vegetables to the cooker at this point and continue with remaining instructions.)
Stir in soaked and rinsed beans, 1 cup rinsed lentils, turkey thighs or drumsticks, 2 tablespoons homemade beef bouillon (or 2 teaspoons store-bought), 2 teaspoons Meat Magic, 2 teaspoons dry Italian herb seasoning, 2 teaspoons cumin, and bay leaf to the pot. Add enough broth/stock/water to cover 2 to 3-inches above ingredients to allow beans to absorb enough liquid - about 4 quarts. NOTE: The exact amount of broth will depend on the amount of meat added. Additional water may be needed. *See Recipe Notes for pressure cooker method.
Bring soup to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours on the stove or 4-6 hours in a crockpot set on low.
Before serving, remove bones and large pieces of turkey from the pot; allow to cool slightly on a platter. Once cool enough to handle, separate meat from the bones and any unappealing connective tissue (see directions and photo in Post). Return meat to the pot and discard bones; season with salt and pepper as needed.
Ladle into warmed bowls, garnish with fresh parsley and serve with cornbread and honey-butter.
Once the onion, celery, carrot and garlic are softened, add all the ingredients to the pot, including spices.
Bring soup to pressure based on manufacturer's instructions. Reduce heat enough to keep at pressure for 15 minutes. Beans should be soft and ready for salt and pepper, to taste.
Before serving, remove bones and large pieces of turkey from the pot; allow to cool slightly on a platter.
Once cool enough to handle, separate meat from the bones and any unappealing connective tissue. Return meat to the pot and discard bones.
Add chopped kale, red bell pepper, or hot green chilies for different flavor profiles
Sub smoked chicken or ham for turkey
Sub cauliflower, celery root, turnips, rutabagas, or parsnips for the carrots or celery
Sub demi-glace in place of bouillon
Use organic canned beans if you're in a pinch for time, reducing cooking time as well.
The easy way to make homemade bouillon is to save the pan dripping from roasted meats.
If the pan drippings are thick or too dry to pour out of the pan, add a little water to the pan and dislodge the browned juices with a spatula. The water will turn brown as the browned bits mix with it. Do this until all the roasted juices have lifted from the pan and can be poured into a storage container, freezer bag, or ice cube tray.
The amount of liquid will dictate what you use to freeze it. Ice cube trays work well for this as each compartment is about 1 tablespoon, which is handy. When using freezer bags, keep the amount to about 1 cup per bag and freeze flat. That way, it remains easy to break off pieces as needed.
You can either skim the fat from the concentrated juices with a spoon or allow to cool in the refrigerator and simply lift off the fat that settles on the top before freezing. If there is enough liquid, a fat separator like the one shown in the photo works well too.
If the beans do not soften after cooking for over an hour, add a pinch of baking soda to the soup and continue to cook. This will make the soup more alkaline and help to soften the beans.