Saturday, November 30, 2013

Turkey Soup

When I was a kid I used to work at a kennel (my first job, at a surprising $1.10 an hour)  for the Barton's and Mrs. Barton used to make this marvelous, rich and savory turkey soup every year after Thanksgiving.  I am going to recreate that soup today if I can.

For the turkey stock.  

3 stalks of celery and celery tops 
2 cloves of garlic mashed. 
1 t. peppercorns 
5-6 sprigs of parsley 
A few sprigs of marjoram 
a few sprigs of thyme 
2  bay leafs 
A turkey carcass the turkey neck (and giblets other than the liver)  
Salt and Pepper

Break up the turkey carcass and put in a large stock pot.  Add cold water to cover the bird. You can add water if it cooks down Add the neck and the giblets if you use them.   I don't mind the giblets, but the rest of my family doesn't want to eat them so I leave them out.   

Rinse and clean the herbs and add to the pot.  Thyme and Marjoram are my favorite combination of herbs, In Germany, where my mother's family finds it's roots, marjoram is referred to as the "goose herb", probably because it's such a natural in seasoning poultry.  Mash the garlic with the side of a knife and add, loosely chop the carrots, onion, and celery and add to the stock.   

Cook the stock for three to four hours, then strain the stock to another vessel and reserve. Skim off the fat if you like.  I don't do that, because I want to emulsify it into the soup, to enrich the flavor.

The soup

Pick a solid selection of root veggies.  I've chosen parsnip, carrots, onion and rutabaga.   Turnips would also be a good choice and add a sharper flavor than a rutabaga.    Since a rutabaga is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage, it naturally has a milder flavor.  I probably wouldn't choose a beet in this soup, because of the red color it would add.

2 cups or more leftover turkey 
4 carrots cubed
2 ribs of celery chopped 
1 large parsnip cubed 
1 rutabaga or turnip cubed 
2 cloves garlic
1 t. each sage, marjoram and thyme
1/4 c. olive oil
1 cup uncooked orzo.
1 t red wine vinegar, cooking sherry, or white wine

In the stock pot add the olive oil and some heat.  Toss in the pepper first and sauté for a minute or so to infuse the oil. Add the celery and onions and sauté for about 3 minutes until the onions are translucent.  Add the herbs and garlic and continue for about 2 minutes.  The celery should look like it's starting to cook.

Add the other root veggies and sauté until it seems critical to add some liquid to avoid scorching.  Add the reserved stock, the turkey meat. and the white wine or sherry.  Cook 40-45 minutes then add the orzo and salt and pepper to taste.  By now the soup will have married together and be rich in root flavors.  Once the orzo is tender about 10 minutes later, it's ready.  Enjoy!

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