Friday, November 27, 2009

Turkey Carcass Soup

One of our favorite Thanksgiving traditions is to make Turkey Carcass Soup the day after the Big Feast. First of all, I just love the name. It sounds so...barbaric and medieval. Secondly, it's absolutely delicious and feels very resourceful to use all of the turkey this way. I discovered this recipe years ago in Jane Brody's Good Food Cookbook, one of my all-time favorite cookbooks.

Add a loaf of homemade bread, and you've got yourself an amazing meal.
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Turkey Carcass Soup

  • Stock:
  • Turkey carcass, broken into pieces
  • Any defatted pan juices or leftover gravy
  • 12 cups of water, or enough to cover the carcass completely
  • 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery with leaves, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced well-washed leek (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt, if desired
  • Bouquet garni, made by tying in cheesecloth:
  • 6 sprigs fresh parsley (or 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes)
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Soup:
  • ½ onion, finely copped
  • 2 - 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 1 ½ tablespoons flour
  • 6 - 7 cups turkey stock
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ⅓ cup raw barley or rice
  • 1 cup diced turkey meat
  • Hot pepper sauce, to taste (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley or chives
For the stock, combine all the ingredients in a large stock pot, bring the stock to a boil and simmer it, partially covered for 2 to 3 hours. (It tastes better the longer it simmers, but be careful not to cook away the liquid.)

Strain the stock; cool, then skim off the fat.

Remove all of the meat from the bones and refrigerate for adding to the soup later. Discard other vegetables, bones, turkey skin, etc. Makes 10 - 12 cups.

To make the soup, in a large stockpot saute the onion and garlic in oil until soft. Add the carrots and celery and mushrooms and cook the vegetables for an additional 5 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add the flour and stir for one minute.

Add the stock, marjoram, salt and pepper, and barley or rice. Bring the soup to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover the pot, and simmer the soup for about 1 hour. Add the turkey meat and hot pepper sauce. Adjust seasonings, and heat the soup to boiling. Sprinkle the soup with parsley just before serving.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Aunt Marilyn's Potato Soup

The girls visited with their Aunt Marilyn over the summer. What a wonderful time they had! They talk and talk and talk and talk about the fun and the arguments and the adventures. And they also talk about the food! Specifically, they talk about the potato soup.

So I called Aunt Marilyn for her potato soup recipe, and she gave it to me over the phone. She has that gift of cooking without recipes, a gift that I just didn't get in my life. So her recipe was "some of this," and "add that." I did it...and it worked!

Here's my version of Aunt Marilyn's Potato Soup. Enjoy!


Aunt Marilyn's Potato Soup

Take a big soup pot and fill it with cold water.
Wash 5 pounds of Yukon Gold potatoes and cut them into bite-sized cubes.
Put the potatoes in the water as you go.
When they are all cut, drain the water, rinse the potatoes in the pot, drain again, and then fill the pot to just above the potatoes.
Cut up two large onions into bite-sized pieces. Add to the potatoes. Add more cold water to cover, if necessary. Don't add to much water because you won't be removing any from the pot when the potatoes are done cooking.
Salt well.
Bring to a boil, and then turn down to a slow boil or fast simmer.
Cook until potatoes are fork-tender but not falling apart.
While potatoes are cooking, crisp 1to 2 pounds of bacon (depending on how much you like bacon) and crumble when done.
When potatoes are finished, add 2 sticks of butter and a pint of heavy cream (or more, if you want it creamier).
Add salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste.
OPTIONAL: If you want a thicker soup,  remove three cups of potatoes and put them into a blender or food processor and puree, then add back to the soup.
Add 2 cups of grated high-quality sharp white cheddar cheese, stirring constantly so that cheese doesn't sink to the bottom unmelted. 
Top with more shredded white cheddar and crisp bacon bits and a twist of fresh black pepper.
Serve with warm, crusty bread.