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.

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