Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Holiday reruns: Roast Turkey Soup!

This time I'm posting this before the holiday. Don't throw away the bones from your Thanksgiving turkey! You can use them to make this delicious soup!

This recipe was originally posted on November 28, 2005.

Bones of one turkey (leg, thigh, and wing bones are probably sufficient, but I threw in everything)
Sprigs of parsley
Whole black peppercorns
Whole cloves of allspice
Dark turkey meat
Canned corn kernels (optional)

1. Remove meat from bones. Roast the bones. (I have no idea what this means, but I was told that it is the secret of this soup. So I put the bones in a foil-lined pie tin, covered them over with foil, and put them in a 400 degree oven for about a half hour. Then I turned off the heat and let the bones sit in the cooling oven until I was done doing whatever I was doing.)

2. Put water in stockpot. How much water? I dunno. How much soup do you want?

3. Add bones. Turn on heat. You are going to be slowly bringing this water to a boil.

4. Clean carrots, maybe two of them. Slice however you like. It won't matter much, because they will have lost their carrot-ness - their taste, their texture, their flavor, their vitamins - by the time the soup is done. Add them to the stockpot.

5. Ditto on the celery. This stuff is basically going to make the soup stock and is donating its flavor. By the time you're done, you'll have a hard time identifying anything that had once been celery.

6. Add sprigs of parsley, fresh if you can get them. Tear them up a bit - you will be able to identify them later on, and you want to get some in each bowl of soup.

7. Add salt. Not too much, maybe two tablespoons (assuming you've filled your stockpot about 2/3 full with water.) You can always add more salt later.

8. Add peppercorns and allspice, maybe a tablespoon of each. Less if you are weak and cowardly.

9. Gradually bring to a boil. But just to a boil.

10. Reduce heat once the soup begins to boil. Simmer on low heat for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

11. During the simmering process be sure to scoop off any floating globs of fat or scum (my grandmother called it shummy) from the top and edges of the pot. (This won't be as much of an issue as it would be for chicken soup, which uses the same basic recipe but uses uncooked chicken as the meat. The turkey bones have already had much of the fat cooked off of them.) Be careful not to scoop out all the parsley.

12. Taste. Add salt if necessary.

Remember, your flavor is coming from the marrow of your bones. The salt and spices and vegetables add to it, but the marrow is the real source.

13. After you've decided it's soup, or very nearly so, add the dark meat. This will be very stringy, so you may want to cut it into short pieces first, or keep it in very large chunks.

Scoop out into bowls, being careful to avoid giving anybody any of the smaller bones from the ribs or the vertebrae. (You may want to just stick to legs and thighs and maybe wings. That should be plenty for your soup.) Add noodles and, if desired, corn. (The corn adds some interesting variations of texture and taste to the soup. Plus, if you have leftover corn from Thanksgiving, it's a great way to get rid of it.)

One interesting aspect of this soup: about an hour after having it, you will want it again. And an hour after that...and an hour after that... It pays to make a lot of soup at once.

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