Sunday, November 21, 2010

Soups on Sunday - Leftover Edition.

via SimplyRecipes
Thanksgiving is drawing near. Families are loading up the family wagon and traveling far and wide to spend time together. Mothers and grandmothers across the globe are shopping for the ingredients to their family's favorite holiday fare. Brothers and sisters are playing outdoors  and inevitably arguing about what to do with all their free holiday time. 

This is a wonderful time of the year and every family has their own traditions which make the time together special. The most common tradition, of course, is the centerpiece of the holiday -- turkey. 

And with turkey, comes leftovers. Some adore leftovers. Others curse them. I fall somewhere in between. I will tolerate leftovers so long as the gravy remains plentiful. After that point, however, I find everything dry and bland. Truly, there is just never enough gravy to outlast the leftovers. 

My solution is Turkey Soup. It is a great way to refashion the turkey into something completely different. And it is warm and soothing on a cold day. And can be easily used to feed a crowd. Or handed out in jars as company heads out the door {not that we are rushing you}!    

I located this recipe at SimplyRecipes, though in the past I've simply used my chicken noodle soup recipe as a guide. 

Making Stock
Remove all the usable turkey meat from the turkey carcass to save for making sandwiches later or for adding to the soup.

Break up the leftover bones of the carcass a bit, so they don't take up as much room in the pot. Put the leftover bones and skin into a large stock pot and cover with cold water by an inch. Add any drippings that weren't used to make gravy, and any giblets (except liver) that haven't been used already. Add a yellow onion that has been quartered, some chopped carrots, parsley, thyme, a bay leaf, celery tops, and some peppercorns.

Bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to bring the stock to a bare simmer or just below a simmer.(If you would like to have a clear stock, do not bring the stock to a boil, but keep the stock below a simmer, as the more you simmer, the cloudier the stock will be.) Skim off any foamy crud that may float to the surface of the stock.

Add salt and pepper, about 1 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp of pepper. It sort of depends on how big your turkey is. You can always add salt to the soup later.

Cook for at least 4 hours, uncovered or partially uncovered (so the stock reduces), occassionally skimming off any foam that comes to the surface. 

Remove the bones and veggies and strain the stock, ideally through a very fine mesh strainer.

If making stock for future use in soup you may want to reduce the stock by cooking it longer, uncovered, at a bare simmer or just below a simmer, to make it more concentrated and easier to store.

Making the Turkey Soup
Prepare the turkey soup much as you would a chicken soup. With your stock already made, add chopped carrots, onions, and celery in equal parts. Add some parsley, a couple cloves of garlic. Add seasoning - poultry seasoning, sage, thyme, marjoram and/or a bouillion cube. Cook at a bare simmer until the vegetables are cooked through. (Or you can sauté the vegetables in a little fat rendered from the soup first, and add back to the soup right before serving.) You can add rice or noodles. Take some of the remaining turkey meat you reserved earlier, shred it into bite sized pieces and add to the soup. You may also want to add some chopped tomatoes, either fresh or canned. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sometimes a dash or two of Tabasco gives the soup a nice little kick.

I hope you all enjoy this holiday week. Travel safely and give thanks for all the many wonderful blessings of this world!

With thanks for you, 

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