Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Basic turkey soup

I know, I know: there are as many ways to make turkey soup as there are cooks who make it! Well, I thought I’d just throw my hat in the ring and tell you how I do it…

Turkey Soup 

Turkey carcass
Additional turkey meat, if needed
Lots of water
1-2 c dry white wine
Onions, celery, carrots, shallots
Thyme sprigs
Bay leaf
Salt and pepper
Fresh tarragon (optional)
2 – 3 T turkey fat
1/4 c flour
Sour cream, milk, or half-and-half (optional)
Barley, rice, small pasta (pre-cooked)

Cover the turkey carcass with water and wine, and bring to a boil.  Add chopped vegetables, peppercorns, and bay leaf.  Lower heat to a simmer. Continue to add water as it boils for a couple of hours, letting the broth get nice and rich. Remove from heat and refrigerate overnight.

Skim off most of the fat on the surface, and save some for mixing with flour later. Pick through the carcass, removing skin, gristle, and bones, and breaking up the turkey meat.

Discard the sodden vegetables and chop up new ones for the soup. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer soup. It will take about 20 minutes for the vegetables to soften.

Mix the turkey fat with flour, and whisk into the soup to thicken it slightly. Add dairy if you’d like it creamy.

To serve, ladle the soup over the rice or barley in each bowl. Don’t add the grains to the soup as leftovers will get soggy.

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