Sunday, November 27, 2011

Turkey Soup

244. Once the turkey has been carved and consumed, what's left are the remains of bones and skin and seemingly, unusable parts that are scooped up and tossed away. But, these remains are the makings of a delicious meal for your family. My dear mother-in-law taught me about Turkey Soup many years ago, as a young bride. She would reserve the remains and scraps from the Thanksgiving meal then make a large pot of, what she called, "Tortellini Soup". Here is her recipe, that I lovingly remember her by each time I make it.

Turkey Soup

Bones and scraps from a baked turkey and a little reserved turkey meat
Left over gravy or stuffing (optional, but they really enhance flavor of soup)
Water to fill stock pot
1 large onion chopped
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks celery and leafy ends, chopped
1 pound bag of dried mini tortellini, cheese filling
1/4 cup Parsley or chives, chopped
Salt/pepper to taste

Place bones and scrap, stuffing and gravy in large stock pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue to simmer for 1 1/2 hours, till meat falls off bone. Transfer all bone and scrap into a colander so meat can cool to the touch.
Strain the liquid through 2 or 3 strainers to catch all residue and small bits.
Skim all the fat liquid from the top of the liquid and discard.
You will notice the strainers will catch the fat as well. If you want to remove all the fat, take several sheets of paper towel lay them across the top of the liquid quickly. When you remove it, you will notice that it picks up the fat from the top. Clever trick! Wash your stock pot clean and return the strained liquid to the clean stock pot, running it once more through a strainer.
Now, at this point, my mother-in-law would add only the tortellini, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. It was a clear broth with tortellini only. I like to make my recipe with veggies and turkey meat as well. She would take the turkey meat and make turkey salad with the meat, which is also an option for you.
Pick through the bones and scraps and scavenge turkey meat being carful of small bones. If you want more turkey meat, just reserve several chunks of meat from your carved turkey.
Add the turkey meat, onion, carrot, celery, salt and pepper and bag of dried tortellini.
Season to will be surprised how flavorful your broth will be.
Bring to a boil and allow to simmer till the veggies are tender and the tortellini has doubled in size.
Serve hot and sprinkle parsley or chives on top for garnish and added color. You could also sprinkle a bit of Parmesan Cheese on top. It is a hearty, healthy, delicious way to enjoy every part of your turkey.

"Soup is a lot like a family. Each ingredient enhances the others; each batch has its own
characteristics; and it needs time to simmer to reach full flavor."
~Marge Kennedy

"You can do almost anything with soup stock, it's like a strong foundation. When you have the right foundation, everything tastes good."
~Martin Yan

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