Saturday, November 27

The Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. What other day does our nation celebrate food! Alright, I guess we are really celebrating being thankful, but what better way to do that than with some yummy things to eat. We spent Thanksgiving with my fiance's family and they cooked two turkeys. My fiance's mom gave me one of the turkey carcasses to take home. I have been making chicken stock lately with the leftover carcass of roasted chicken so I was ready to tackle "The Day After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup".

Here is what you will need:
For the stock-
* 1 turkey or chicken carcass with some skin and meat left on
* 1 yellow onion, quartered
* 4 stalks of celery
* 2 bay leaves
* a palmful of black peppercorns (optional)

For the soup-
* 1 yellow onion, chopped
* 1 head of garlic, pressed
* 2 Tablespoons of butter
* 2 Tablespoons of EVOO
* 1 bunch of celery, chopped
* 4 carrots, chopped
* handful of Italian parsley, chopped
* optional: 1 or 2 bags of frozen veggies
* 3 cups of turkey/chicken meat (stripped from the carcass after making stock)
* 12 cups of turkey/chicken stock (recipe to follow)
* 1 pound of short pasta * salt and pepper

For the pistou-
* 4 or 5 fresh tomatoes, seeded
* handful of fresh basil
* 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese
* 1/4 cup of butter

To start the soup you must first make the stock. Stock is one of the easiest things to make. Especially if you have a crock-pot. I put the turkey carcass, with bones, skin, and any some meat still attached, into the crock-pot. I have a 6 quart crock-pot and it was an 11 pound turkey. I had no trouble fitting it in but you could also just squish it down. Next cover the carcass with cold water. Then I threw in a quartered YELLOW onion (never use a red onion in a crock-pot, yuck!), a few stocks of celery, two bay leaves and a palmful of peppercorns. Set to low for as long as you can. I cooked mine for about 20 hours. I just started it yesterday afternoon and left it on low overnight. After it has cooked, drain the stock into a bowl. The easiest way I found to do this was to place a colander into a bowl and pour everything in. Then I set the bowl of stock aside and let the turkey carcass cool. I just left mine in colander in the sink so it didn't drip all over. After it has cooled pull all of the meat from the bones. Now you are ready to make some soup! The best part about soup is you can throw whatever you have in. In the biggest pot I had, I sauteed a chopped yellow onion and a whole head of pressed garlic (I love garlic but you could put less) with about 2 tablespoons EVOO and 2 tablespoons of butter. Then I chopped some celery and carrots and a handful of fresh parsley and sauteed until tender. While this is sauteing, I put in some salt and pepper. (Put in more salt than you think because it will be diluted with the broth later.) After a few minutes I poured my stock into the pot. Then I started cleaning out my freezer... I had a bag of frozen mixed veggies that I threw in and a half of bag of frozen corn... again you could put whatever you would like in or just stick with what is already in the pot. I brought the broth to a boil and threw in a box of short pasta. After following the time length on the box, I checked my seasonings, added a bit more salt and pepper, and done!

So while I was waiting for the soup to come to a boil so I could put in the pasta, I got bored... I started looking at my copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Appropriately enough, I was flipping through the soup section. I came across a recipe for a summer vegetable soup and I was intrigued by the addition of a pistou into the soup at the end. (A pistou is similar to a pesto without nuts.) So I modified the recipe to what I had around and I have to say it was really good! So here is my take on Julia Child's pistou that I mixed into the soup after cooking the pasta. It is not necessary but it is delicious! Throw 4 or 5 seeded fresh tomatoes into a mini food processor. Pulse until the tomatoes are pureed. Put a handful of basil in and pulse a few times to chop. Pour the tomato basil mixture into a nonstick saute pan. bring to a boil so some of the liquid burns off. After about 2 minutes grate in about a 1/4 a cup of parmesan cheese. Melt a 1/4 a stick of butter into the sauce. Mix all together and pour into the soup.

This would also be really yummy on pasta alone or even to dip bread in. Happy Thanksgiving!

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