Turkey Soup

If you know Jonny, you’re probably well aware that he doesn’t do most things half way. That includes purchasing the Christmas turkey. So this year, instead of getting one normal size turkey, we pre-ordered two, 17 lb turkeys. For 6 people. We picked them up early, and it’s a good thing we had recently purchased a freezer because turkey #2 immediately got tucked away for a rainy day. Turkey #1 soon found himself swimming in Nigella’s brine, getting ready for Christmas cooking. He was delicious and fed the six of us just fine. He then made 6 toasted turkey sandwiches, 4 turkey paninis, a couple of post-run turkey on Ryvita snacks, and 10 cups of chopped turkey. And, like all good turkeys, he met his final end in the stew pot.

I usually make turkey soups based loosely on the Best of Bridge Turkey Soup but Jon had recently eaten turkey soup in which the bones had been roasted so I had to try it. It makes a thicker, darker broth but takes an extra hour and half.  While it’s roasting, it does smell like the the holidays though! To make your own roasted turkey soup:

  1. Take all the meat off the carcass. You need about 3 cups of chopped turkey, place this aside (if there is any extra, save it and make this delicious pasta dish). Break the carcass into manageable pieces.
  2. If you haven’t already washed the turkey roaster, scrape out any of the gross turkey jelly stuff, and put the carcass and any other bones back into the roaster. You can also use a clean roaster if you’ve already done dishes. Pop into the oven at about 400F and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring the bones now and again to brown all over.
  3. Add a couple carrots, two onions (cut into quarters), and a few sticks of celery to the roaster and roast for another 45 minutes (stirring to make sure it doesn’t brown too much).
  4. Then follow the usual recipe: take the bones, and veggies and put into a large pot with enough water to cover the bones. Simmer for about four hours. Strain out the bones and veggies and discard. Put the broth back into the pot and cool until the fat can be skimmed off the top (usually over night).
  5. About 2 hours before you want to eat, put the broth and enough water to make about 16 cups into a large pot. Add the chopped turkey, about 4 cups of chopped veggies (carrots, celery, onion, green beans, whatever is around), a bouillon cube (optional), 2 tbsp dried lentils, 2 tbsp pot barley, and 2 tbsp rice. I also add a can of diced tomatoes.  Simmer until just before you want to eat, and then put in a couple tbsp of small pasta (I use orzo shaped pasta).
  6. Eat with either Squirrel Biscuits or this cream biscuit recipe and freeze any extra*.

*Did you know that you can also freeze unbaked biscuits and then just bake from frozen? I did not, but now have a freezer bag of cream biscuits waiting for left over night. Amazing!

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