Monday, January 2, 2012

Mostly Vegetable and Turkey Soup

Recently, my husband and I entertained another family for dinner.  Our guests were unexpectedly surprised with a menu that was Thanksgiving part II.  We did the whole thing all over again: roaster turkey, crock pot mashed potatoes, classic turkey stuffing, etc.   We were all happily full. I love the challenge of using leftovers.  Sometimes reheating them is the best solution.  We did enjoy some traditional leftovers, but ultimately I had a particularly tough leftover challenge. Reason? I had less than 8 oz of turkey meat leftover (but I did have all the bones, scraps and neck).  My tradition for turkey leftovers of late has been to make turkey dumpling soup.  In this case, I had a minimal amount of turkey meat; I was determined to use a lot of vegetables; I wanted it to taste like Thanksgiving in a soup bowl; and I wanted to avoid noodles, dumplings or flour.  I am extremely happy with the result - a soup with mostly vegetables and a little turkey. Thanksgiving in a bowl.


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Mostly Vegetable and Turkey Soup 1 large onion
3 carrots
3 to 4 parsnips
3 celery stalks
1 celery root
1/2 rutabaga
1/2 sweet potato
1/2 butternut squash
2 tablespoons of canola or olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
1 quart chicken broth (plus extra, just in case)
2 quarts homemade turkey stock - made just like chicken stock only with turkey bones
1 large clove of minced garlic
2 tablespoons rubbed sage
1 1/2 teaspoons of poultry seasoning
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 cup of rice blend (I used a brown and wild rice blend with lentils)
6 to 8 oz of shredded cooked turkey, torn bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Gather all the vegetables, turn on some music, and start chopping creating an even petite dice (as opposed to a chunky and rustic dice).  The object is to chop all the vegetables similar in size so they cook evenly, and to get them all chopped before you start the cooking process.  I also wanted the possibility of having a few different vegetables in each spoonful. I started with the usual suspects: chopping the onion, celery, peeling the carrots and turnips.


2. Next, I  dove into the celery root peeling gently to keep as much of the meaty interior as possible.  I finished up the carrots and turnips.



3.  I peeled half of the sweet potato and butternut squash next, removing skin, creating 1/4 inch slices and diced in 1/4 inch slices.




4.  I peeled the rutabaga the same way.



5.  Heat the canola (or olive) oil and butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. (This lucky girl received a large Le Creuset round pot for Christmas, so I used that:-)


6. Put all the vegetables in the pot and stir to coat all the vegetables.


7.  Add the sage, rosemary, and start with 2 tablespoons of salt and a one teaspoon of pepper knowing you may need to adjust by adding more later.



8.  Add minced garlic.  Stir the vegetables periodically for 7 minutes.  If the vegetables start to stick add a small splash of chicken broth.


9.  After 7 minutes add all the chicken broth.


10.  Add poultry seasoning and cook uncovered on medium low heat for 30 minutes.


11.  Add two quarts of turkey stock and rice blend, cover and simmer for another 30 minutes.


12.  Carefully taste the broth and adjust seasoning adding more salt and pepper and more of other seasonings if needed and simmer for another 15 minutes.

13.  When the rice has cooked completely (may take longer depending on the level of heat), add the shredded turkey.


14.  After a few minutes do a final adjustment of seasoning if necessary - soup's on!

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