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Souper Turkey Soup!

Monday, December 31, 2012

On "turkey feast days", I am the laziest possible cook -- and blogged about it proudly way back in October 2009. All about faking it, using as much "prefab" as possible with a few additions to make it "mine": the rock solid frozen prestuffed turkey, the canned gravy with a shot of sherry, the mashed potatoes in the sous-vide bag with a little chopped parsley, the frozen pie partially defrosted so the crust can be crimped with my very own thumbprints! In fact I believe "prefab" results in "less flab" . . . because prefab means fewer opportunities to snack and nibble!


However, as the "soup meister" supremo (a fresh pot every week, the centrepiece of my suppers every evening . . . ) I'm prepared to take quite a bit of trouble with the bones! And gotta say, love turkey soup even better than roast turkey with all the trimmings.

It's a two day project -- but it really begins right after Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.

While dinner is being served, I've got the first load of prep dishes running through the dishwasher. That gives me a pretty clean kitchen for the next round of the operations.

And right after dessert (this year, glorious key lime pie decorated with kiwi and raspberries, enjoyed every crumb) I'm tackling the turkey.

First, I slice and chunk all the meat off the bones and put it in ziplock bags in the freezer with the other leftovers. That stops me snacking -- and creates easy meals for DH who can eat an infinite number of turkey dinners (leftover rice/potatoes/stuffing/gravy/c
ranberries/ veggies) over the next number of days.

Then I bag up all the bones and skin from the turkey and freeze that too until I'm ready to make soup.

Yesterday, out of the freezer came the bones bag!

The bones went into one of my big soup pots frozen solid with just enough water barely to cover, plus the following: five or six baby carrots, a handful of celery leaves, a large clove of garlic, some chopped onion, about a quarter cup of peppercorns, maybe a tablespoon of dried sage.

And: some balsamic vinegar (helps draw all the calcium out of the bones) plus a shot of soya sauce (we want a rich brown colour).

As the pot came to the boil and the bones defrosted, , I used the potato masher to get everything submerged. I turned the heat down to a bare simmer for about 2 hours and went about my business. It smelled glorious!!

And when everything was simmered satisfactorily, I strained the broth through a colander into a second clean soup pot and put it in the fridge.

Then: I cooled the bones slightly and very carefully cut off all the juicy bits of meat and set those aside, discarding the skin/gristle/cooked veggies (Charlie enjoyed some of this, but of course completely bone free since turkey bones can splinter and cause problems for dogs). I refrigerated the chopped turkey meat separately.

This morning I had about half a potful of rich and flavourful turkey broth, chilled. It was a concentrated jelly-like aspic. If there had been fat on the surface (and there wasn't any, really) I could have easily removed it.

I brought the broth to a boil again and decided on a simple turkey noodle soup. I added some fresh chopped celery. Some whole wheat spaghetti noodles, broken into 1" lengths. A whole whack of vegetables: green beans, carrots, corn, peas (frozen is great for this). The turkey meat, of course. And adjusted the seasonings: some red pepper flakes, some rosemary, a little sea salt, more sage and thyme. Decided on a can of romano beans, well drained, for additional protein. Enough water, added from time to time, to fill the pot.

(It could have been turkey mushroom barley; or turkey brown rice; or turkey and potatoes: but it was definitely going to involve lots and lots of vegetables!)

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm! Gonna be delicious, after my cross-country ski coming right up!!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Mmmmmm, soup! Your soups always sound wonderful!!!!!
    1899 days ago
  • _LINDA
    Wow! Sounds heavenly!! A lot of effort producing great results! For sure you are the soup Queen of Sparkland!! Who cares about the other stuff when you can make great soup!! In our cold climate, a wonderful hot bowl of aromatic soup is just the ticket!!
    Enjoy your skiing!
    Wishing you a healthy, happy wonderful New Year! May you accomplish all you set out to do and have a boatload of fun getting there!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Looking forward to another great year sharing this journey with you!
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    1902 days ago
    The soup sounds great!
    1902 days ago
    I can smell it from here! Yummmmm! What time does it get served up? emoticon
    1902 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
    Mmm. I shied away from making soup until this past year. Now, with my trusty crock pot and knowledge of healthy ingredients, it is so simple and so delicious.
    1902 days ago
    You are the soup supremo.
    1902 days ago
  • SWAZY33
    I'm making a turkey tomorrow and I always say I'm going to make turkey soup and never do...I will this time!! Sounds yum!
    1902 days ago
    in the words of my son,lecker emoticon
    1902 days ago
    Sounds so good! Thanks for sharing your soup preparation. I did a pot of soup yesterday, but I've got to admit mine is not as inspired as yours. It's good, though: lots of cabbage, carrots, celery, onion, and various colors of bell pepper with chicken broth and garbanzo beans.

    I do find it frustrating that it takes so long to put it all in the food tracker and when I'm done I figure I'm only in the ballpark -- much less precise than my usual measure a meat, measure a veggie, etc. How do you solve that one?
    1902 days ago
    Sounds absolutely wonderful! I can just smell that turkey carcass simmering gently!

    My goal has been to make a pot of soup each week as well. We eat it every day for lunch. So far I've got about a half-dozen recipes that pass the test of being hearty yet light enough calorie-wise for lunch. You are a better cook than I am; I'm a recipe-only girl and not very imaginative or inventive on my own.
    1902 days ago
    I just love to do soup too!
    1902 days ago
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