Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Sneaky Nutrition - Turkey Soup

Well, it's snowing outside again. According to the Farmer's Almanac and some "expert" who made a recent prediction, we're going to have a mild winter again this year in our area. But according to the squirrels in my backyard, we're going to have it rough. You see, they're quite fat. For the last two seasons they didn't get very fat and it was a mild winter. Since they're fat again as in years past, I think they're forecasting a lot of bad weather coming up. Let's see who's right--them or the experts. God willing, I'll come back in April or so and let you know.

Soooooo, it's a good time to give you a nice recipe for a meal to serve on a chilly, nasty-weather day, sneaking a bit of nutriments in as you warm the bellies. And you need just one big pot! If you have any turkey bones left from Thanksgiving like I do, it's time to make some soup for your family, especially if there are any stuffy noses or people coughing in your house. The most important thing to remember is that you should cook the broth well ahead of time and chill it in a cold place so that you can skim off the fat before making the actual soup.

My turkey soup recipe is very simple. Some people may want to add their favorite herbs. For some reason, I like it better without a lot of herbs. Also, some people prefer it with cut up potatoes. I prefer it with noodles. The key is to cook the bones for a long time, and you'll have a lots of flavor! Here is what I do:

Put in large pot:

turkey carcass and leg, wing and other bones that no one ate off of (I leave a lot of meat on my bones !)
3-4 celery stalks, cut in large pieces
1-2 onions, cut up
1-2 carrots, whole
8-10 cups water, depending on how many bones
1 Tablespoon salt
5-6 peppercorns

2-3 bay leaves

Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer slowly for three to four hours. Make sure the lid is on tight. After cooking, let it cool for a while and then take a slotted spoon or strainer and take all of the bones from the broth, with the celery, carrots, peppercorns and bay leaves. This can take a while because the bones can be in small bits . Leave the meat!!!

After cooling the broth (usually overnight) and skimming off the fat, bring to a boil again and add:

a couple of cut up boiled eggs
1 celery stalk, diced or sliced
any frozen mixed vegetables of your choice
about half head of a small cabbage, shredded (or zucchini)

Ten minutes or so before serving, add:

whole grain noodles

Sorry measurements on the vegetables and noodles are vague, since it depends on how thick you want the soup to be. I make it quite thick but it's more like a thick soup than a stew. My younger daughter eats it with a fork (remember that ad?), but for some reason that irritates me. But I certainly don't make an issue of that! I'll also mention that someday if I want to be a very nice wife to my husband, I'll put okra in it--you know how nutritious okra is, don't you? But I haven't gotten to the point that I've been able to do that (I hate okra and he loves it!), so I guess that says something about what kind of wife I am. ;-)

Well, I hope you make some of this soup soon, adding and subtracting as you see fit. Soup is one of those flexible dishes that we do with as we like. Enjoy the winter weather, guys. Oh! and don't forget the homemade cornbread or wheat bread that goes so well with your soup.


kris said...

This recipe sounds good, Maxine! I'll have to try it sometime when my husband is home for a few days to help me eat it.

Beverly said...

Yummy! I want YOU to make me some, Nanna ;-)
That's weird - I heard the exact opposite about this winter! I guess that goes to show that God is in control.

A Note From Theresa said...

Oh that sounds good!

sparrow's song said...

It's snowing here once again as well even as I write this. Hot soups sounds super yummy right about now. I'm having Healthy Choice Bean with Ham. It's not all that great but maybe it needs salt. Your recipe sounds so much better. I'm substituting rye bread instead of cornbread in the moment.


The recipe made me want to make some right now. I love soup and cornbread so does my Jim. I like okra and so does he so maybe we will add some okra. I really like my fried best. Thanks for the suggestion. It is a good one. I am with you, my Dad used to say watch the animals like squirrels. The fatter they the colder the winter. connie from Texas