Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The post-Thanksgiving adventure of making turkey soup

See all those carrots? (
In the midst of moving forward with my writing projects and attending to several must-do tasks the other day, I decided to make turkey soup from the carcass left over from Thanksgiving dinner. I don’t cook a lot at this stage of my life, and it should come as no surprise that I began the soup before checking out the recipe. So I forgot to add the seasonings to the brew when I put the carcass in a pot of water and let it simmer until the meat fell off the bones. The good news is that I saved the unseasoned broth, and I’ve got lots of turkey meat for the soup. I’m planning to backtrack some with the seasonings – heck, it’ll all work out.

Darn! I still have to chop the onions, carrots, and celery.

Discovered I had no carrots yesterday, and I stopped in at Target to get a few, plus a couple of household products; I was running out of paper towels - tragedy, yes? In the produce department, I asked a fellow in a red T-shirt and khakis where the carrots were. A loyal, well-trained employee, he showed me several options and then the pièce de résistance: a container of nicely chopped vegetables, including carrots, just right for turkey soup. I thanked him for his thoughtfulness and grabbed a package of those so-called baby carrots. After paying for my stuff, I got a cup of coffee and a couple of cookies and sat down in the Target Café to rest my arthritic knees before heading home.

So here I am today stuck with chopping my own vegetables. That’s okay, though. I’ll feel pleasantly virtuous later on this afternoon as I dice those onions, carrots, and a few stalks of celery.

But first I have to post this at Katalusis and get my laundry started.

Here's the recipe that I forgot to read before starting my soup, and you'd better believe I'll not be adding any barley to my turkey soup.

Betty Crocker’s recipe for homemade turkey soup


Carcass from cooked 10- to 12-lb turkey

3 quarts (12 cups) water
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning or dried sage leaves
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 medium carrots, sliced (1 1/2 cups)
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
2 medium stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
3 cups cut-up cooked turkey
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, if desired
  • 1 Break up turkey carcass to fit 6-quart Dutch oven. Add water, salt, pepper, poultry seasoning and bay leaf. Heat to boiling over high heat; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 1 hour 30 minutes.
  • 2 Skim off any residue that rises to the surface. Remove bones, meat and bay leaf from broth; cool. When cool enough to handle, remove meat from bones and cut into bite-size pieces; set aside. Discard bones and bay leaf.
  • 3 Skim fat from broth; discard. Add turkey meat cut from bones to broth; stir in barley. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to low. Cover; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • 4 Stir in carrots, onion, celery and 3 cups cooked turkey. Simmer uncovered 20 to 25 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables and barley are tender. Stir in parsley.

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