Sunday, January 17, 2010

Turkey Vegetable Soup

There is no wrong time of year to make soup. At least that's what I think. I love soup. I could eat it every day. Seriously. My dad told me once, that when I was a kid, I used to try to order soup with every meal when we'd go out. Of course, I also tried to order the most expensive on the menu, but that's another story (and really, who could blame me? It always sounded good).

I started making my own broth from chicken and turkey bones only a few years ago, and I've never gone any other way. It's so wonderful. And the beauty of it is, you can make it with any spices you want, or none at all. You can what you want, you can take away what you don't want. This particular version, I went with the less is more method. By the time I started working on this broth, I was pretty tired, but I made it, and just added what I had on hand, or what I wanted. It's nice and warming during the winter and the broth is great to keep handy for future recipes (which I did). You can do this with leftover chicken or turkey carcasses (I haven't made any beef or pork broth yet, so I'm not really clear on how to pull that off).

Turkey Vegetable Soup

For the Broth:
1 Turkey carcass with a little meat left on it
2 celery stalks, cut in halves or thirds
2 carrots, cut in halves or thirds
1 onion, quartered
about 3-4 garlic cloves, quartered
Any spices you like (I use Poultry Seasoning, Thyme, Oregano, Parsley and Celery Seed)
Sea Salt
2 bay leaves

Heat the oven to 375 degrees ( I sometimes will go higher, but I like mine to get almost burned before I use it, it also depends on how much meat you have on there). Spray a pan that will fit your turkey carcass with non-stick coating. Place turkey carcass in the pan and put in the over for 1-2 hours. I do really like my bones to be crispy. But make sure they are roasted well.

Boil water in a large pot - for as much broth as you want. I use a couple gallons at least. You can do this one of two ways - put the carcass directly in the pot of water, or wrap it in some cheesecloth. I put mine directly into the water. add the vegetables, and spices, salt, pepper and bay leaves.

Turn down to simmer. I leave mine for a couple of hours to get maximum flavor. Sometimes, after I do that, I will add some water to the broth so there is even more for other cooking projects. Not too much water, but maybe a few cups or so. It doesn't dilute it too much.

Remove the carcass and vegetables from the pot. Put them on a plate and let them cool before tossing them out. At this time, you should have a beautiful golden broth, somewhat like this:

Now, is when you get to be creative. I do not make measurements, because it's up to you. But here are some options to add.

For the Soup:
Green Beans
Snow peas
Kidney Beans
Fresh noodles
Wild rice

The list is really endless (and yes, I have put all this stuff in my soup at one time before, and it was fantastic)

Also add some turkey meat to it. Usually about two cups or so will do you just fine. Cook it until just heated through. Then, you'll have a very good soup, and it freezes extremely well.

This particular batch, I ended up using the leftover veggies and turkey from the Pasties I made the night before. And it turned out just fine. I hope you enjoy yours.


Melissa said...

That's wonderful. I also make my own chicken and turkey broth. As for the beef, I made it once and thought it was so stinky that maybe I had kept the bones for too long, but no, it's supposed to smell that way while cooking, apparently. You brown the bones first in the oven, by the way, but otherwise it's about the same.

And I also love soup! Love love. I could eat soup in some fashion every single day as well. :)

Tink said...

Hee hee! And when I come down there, you're taking me out for Pho.

Melissa said...

Heck yeah!! You better come down by this September though or I may not live here any more.

Tink said...

Oh no! I hope I get there before hand. We're going to be going down there from my 20 year class reunion, I think it's going to be in August or September.