Sunday, November 27, 2011

Waiter, there's a turkey in my soup ...

Many of us have that leftover turkey in the fridge. And while 82% of us promise to make soup out of the remains of the bird, probably only 23% of us actually carry out this plan.

Here's a secret from a foodie: I never cooked a turkey myself until this year. Yep, with all the cooking I do, you'd think I'd be expert in the art of the bird, but no. I'm conditioned by the squeaky, snapping noise created from opening the package of neatly trimmed chicken breasts, arranged in a row like soldiers.

You can probably make this soup with what's already in your kitchen. I did, and I'm happy I tried it! This recipe is a slight adaptation of one from Michael Chiarello (you'll find many similar ones):

Lovely Leftover Turkey Soup


  • 2 quarts chicken broth (or enough to cover turkey in pot)
  • 1 turkey carcass (pull off the meat and cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed 
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves (or about 1/2 t. Bell's seasoning)
  • 2 or 3 cups turkey meat in bite-sized pieces (both light and dark are fine)
  • 3 to 4 ounces of wild rice (uncooked)

To make it:

1. Put turkey, chicken broth, 1 onion (quartered), 1 carrot (cut into about 4 pieces), 1 celery stalk (cut into about 4 pieces), and 1 bay leaf in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 1 1/2 hours. 
2. Remove all the turkey bones and big chunks of veggies from the pot. Now, strain what's in there over a big sieve set on top of a big bowl. Chuck out the contents of the sieve. Notice the rich smell and nice color.  
3. Wipe out the stock pot with a paper towel. Heat olive oil over medium-low heat,  then add the garlic cloves, 1 onion (diced), 1 carrot (diced), and 1 stalk celery (diced). Sweat until softened (7 or 8 minutes).
4. Add sage or Bell's seasoning, 1 bay leaf, parsley, turkey meat and that yummy broth. Stir in wild rice, and simmer for about an hour (wild rice takes a while to cook through).
5. Revel in the praise you'll get for your awesome re-purposed leftovers. 

Makes a whole lot of servings - enough for freezing.
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  1. Yum- I love turkey soup! delicious!
    xoxo from Trinidad

  2. Ok, so I know that I am biased, but this soup is amazing. I added a little Tabasco and wow!


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