Turkey Soup

Lots of folks will be roasting turkeys tomorrow, and while there are a zillion recipes out there for turkey soup, this is the one I grew up with. My mum always said that it was better than the turkey itself, and while I’m a big fan of her perfectly brined birds, this soup really is sublime.

IMG_0664

Instructions:

Save the bones if you’ve eaten the drumsticks etc. Once the pandemonium of the main meal is over, take all the leftover meat off the carcass and put it to one side – you’ll use some of it later.

Cover the carcass in water in a big pot. Add:

  • a couple of onions, peeled and cut in quarters
  • some celery (mainly the leaves for the stock-making process, you’ll use the stems later)
  • salt, pepper
  • a couple of tablespoons of thyme

Simmer for 2-3 hours. While it’s simmering, cook up about 3 cups of rice (more or less depending on how big a bird you’re working with). Mum uses plain white rice but last year I used 2 cups of basmati and one cup of wild rice and it was delicious, so be adventurous! Put the rice aside for later.

Once the stock has simmered adequately, strain it – carefully! Toss the bones and other solid parts.

There are two ways to de-fat your stock: chill the strained stock and skim the fat off the top of the gelled stock, or use a fat separator (I love my OXO Good Grips 4-Cup Fat Separator, which looks like a weirdly shaped measuring cup). You can skip this step but the soup will be a little greasier. It will still be delicious, don’t worry.

If you did the chilling step, bring soup back to boil. Either way, add:

  • the cooked rice
  • chopped celery
  • chopped turkey
  • salt and pepper to taste

Simmer for about another half an hour, then enjoy with rustic crackers, French bread, or other delicious carbs. A bit of Tabasco goes nicely too.

The soup freezes really well, so don’t be afraid to make lots!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you may also enjoy my mother’s English Bread Sauce recipe, which I posted a few years back.

Happy holidays!

Recipe from my Mum

My Mum is English by ancestry, and has for a number of years been making one of her family’s traditional recipes to go with Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner. I think it’s really yummy, so I asked her if I could share it.  Here it is, mostly verbatim – I just separated out a list of ingredients for easier shopping.

English Bread Sauce

Ingredients

  • 10-15 cloves
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1-2 cups bread crumbs (the ones you can get pre-made at the grocery store work, but bakery ones are better 🙂 )
  • butter

A pot on a stove containing milk and a onion with cloves stuck in the onion
Simmering the milk and cloves
 

Directions

  • Stick the cloves in the onion.
  • Add onion to milk in a saucepan.
  • Simmer for about one hour on low heat, so that milk is infused with the onion-clove flavour. Do not boil.
  • Remove onion and discard.
  • Add salt and about 1 cup bread crumbs, and simmer over low heat.  Again, do not  boil.
  • The crumbs will swell up, and the sauce should have a thick consistency. If it is too runny after simmering for a few minutes, add some more bread crumbs.

Serve with turkey, ideally with more bread crumbs, these ones fried in butter.  About a half cup should be enough – use whatever you have left.