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Turkey soup is…

December 1, 2009

one of the best results from Thanksgiving and its copious leftovers. Waiting for and then receiving the carcass is much anticipated around here. Only slightly less so than waiting for and anticipating the actual soup.

As I said here, some years ago, early in marriage and when I still had no confidence regarding cooking, I was informed that my mother-in-law (Mil) and brother-in-law would be coming for Thanksgiving. Was I ready?

No. But that didn’t deter the facts of the matter. I would have to cook a turkey. Some way, some how.

Thankfully, ever so thankfully, we had inherited on some previous trip home, the family smoker. Husband promised to read up on the process and do the smoking. Hallelu!

I purchased, cleaned and prepped the big bird and then Husband took over with charcoal, wood briquets and fire. It was a match made in heaven and the turkey that came out of that smoker was indescribably dee-lish-ous!

After the feasting though, I stood in the kitchen wondering what in the world could possibly be done with that much carcass and leftovers. The idea of eating turkey sandwiches and tetrazzini for the next 3 weeks was not palatable.

Mil and I took to the cookbooks, whatever odd collection I had at that time and found a recipe for turkey soup. However, as the case usually is with my pantry, I did not have the specific and exact ingredients necessary. Undeterred, Mil and I forged ahead, using what we had and improvising the rest. It was the start of early confidence in the process called cooking for me.

So, here is the famed recipe of serendipity meets smoked turkey. Or how to achieve confidence in cooking. Or just plain “slap yo mama it’s so good”. Use what you have and feel free to improvise the rest.

Turkey Soup

1 leftover turkey carcass & bones (smoked is best but use what you have)
2 TB parsley flakes
2 TB onion flakes
1-2 TB Lawry’s seasoned salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2 – 11 oz cans cream of tomato soup plus 1 can water
1 1/2 c. cooked rice (not instant)

Fill large soup pot half full of water. Boil leftover turkey & bones in water for at least 1 hour. Remove bones & add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for at least one more hour.

*Okay, that’s the basic idea, but in reality it will look like this:
1 leftover turkey & bones
2 TB parsley flakes, 3 if I feel extravagant
3 TB onion flakes
2 TB Lawry’s seasoned salt (or whatever seasoned salt is there)
3/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
2-3 11 oz cans cream of tomato soup (originally Campbell’s made an Italian style cream of tomato soup and that’s what we used. Since then though I have only used regular cream of tomato but have added additions.)
1-2 cans of water
1-2 tsp chicken bouillon or cubes to equal 1-2 cups water
1-2 15 oz cans diced tomatoes or Italian style diced or if you like it spicy use Rotel
1 1/2 c. cooked rice (long grain, never instant)

I boil the turkey carcass & bones for at least 3-4 hours. After removing the bones I add back in the meat plus 1-2 cups of additional turkey. I do not add the rice until about 1 hour before serving. But I simmer the rest of the soup for 3-4 hours. Obviously it’s an all day event but well worth it.

Hopefully your turkey soup experience will be just as hallelu!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 2, 2009 7:54 am

    As you know, we didn’t have turkey for Thanksgiving because of my thyroid status. But I’ve got one in the freezer and now, I can’t wait to eat the thing just so we can get to the soup part! Thanks for sharing, Elle.

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