Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Eat For A Week, Episode 15: Turkey Soup

Ever wonder what to do with the left-over turkey carcass after a holiday meal? This soup is a great - and affordable - way to go. Assuming you have the seasonings you need on hand, you'll only need to spend around $6 or $7 for the veggies. This recipe is a great starting point and is pretty flexible. Like celery, corn, or beans? Throw some in there. Want some more starch? Toss in some rice or noodles. The most important thing is to have fun with it and make it yours.

When my mom (Hi mom!) sends me home with the turkey carcass, I never know how long it'll be before I'll have time to make this, so I just stick it in the freezer until I need it. Unfortunately, I forgot to take it out of the freezer in time for it to thaw, so at one point you'll hear the microwave whirring in the background on defrost. One tip that can make life easier is to be sure you break down the carcass into more manageable bits before sticking it in the freezer. This is something I frequently forget to do, and regret it later.

Also, I'd like to apologize if the editing is a bit on the dodgy side. Just upgraded to iLife '08 and nothing is where I expect it to be. Ah, the joys of learning new software! No worries though, I'll get the hang of it.


1 turkey carcass
2 onions, chopped
5-7 cloves of garlic, peeled & smashed
4 russet potatoes, peeled & chopped
4 carrots, peeled & chopped
1-2 Tbsps salt
1 Tbsp pepper
2 Tbsps parsley flakes
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp dry thyme
2 bay leaves
pinch of ground cloves
dash of allspice
pinch of saffron (optional)


A huge pot. (Mine holds 12 quarts.)


Put all the ingredients into the pot. Add water to cover. Place on the stove over high heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Cover, and reduce heat to somewhere between Low & Medium-Low. Allow to cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

Once the hour has gone by, remove all the turkey bones and allow to cool until you can handle them. Once cool, pick through them, returning the edible meat to the pot and discarding the rest.

You'll probably see some "scum" forming on top of the soup. Don't worry, it's just some of the fat from the turkey. Just skim it off and discard it.

This is really nice with some crusty bread, and freezes well.

Music for this episode is "Better With Bacon" by The Hybiscus Journals.