Sunday, November 17, 2013

MTQ Cooking: Easy Turkey Soup

Here's a perfect solution for your leftover Turkey.  It is super easy - if you can cut potatoes and carrots, you can make this!  You can make this soup a day or two after you cook your Turkey or you can cut and freeze your Turkey to make this soup another day.

  • Chopped leftover Turkey chunks (about 1 Quart – a big Chinese soup container)
  • Potato – about 3 to 4 medium to larger potatoes
  • Carrots – enough to equal about 2 cups (fresh is best)
  • 1 Onion
  • 2 small cans Cream Soup – (Cream of Celery, Chicken, Broccoli or Mushroom)
  • 2 Bouillon cubes – (or small can of chicken broth – I prefer the cubes)
  • Celery (optional – I seldom have it, but if you do it’s nice to chop 4 or so stalks to put in)
  • Parsley Flakes – if you can imagine pinching your fingers and dropping it in – 2 to 3 pinches (but you can shake it out and estimate)
  • Basil – about 1 pinch (less than the Parsley)

The trick to a smooth operation is having all of your ingredients and timing the preparation to coincide with natural cooking times.  First take a large pot and fill it about ¼ full with water and start it on your stove to boil.  Next, start with peeling / cutting your carrots.  Carrots tend to take the longest time to cook so I put them in a pot of medium boiling water for about 5 to 10 minutes.  Sometimes carrots will create an orange foam on top of the water and if so, I will scoop the big portion of this foam out.

During the 5-10 minutes that the carrots are boiling, I start chopping the onion, celery (if I have it) and peeling and cutting the potatoes so that the carrots have a head start cooking and I can add the onions, celery and potatoes to the boiling water after you give the carrots a head start (if you cook the potatoes and carrots together for the same length of time, you risk that your potatoes might get a little mushy – you don’t want mashed potatoes in your soup).  You might need to add some water.

I give this mixture 5 minutes or so to boil, then check it with a fork – poke a potato and poke a carrot, (or even eat one after cooling it), if they are still hard, you might want to let them boil for a couple more minutes.  A little bit hard is good as they will continue to cook a little after you add your Turkey.  When the potatoes and carrots reach the spot where they are a little hard (not quite done), I add the Turkey, the 2 cans of cream soup; reduce to heat to very low (simmer) and stir thoroughly.  You might have to add water.  Next I sprinkle the parsley and basil onto the top and let the pot simmer with its cover on for 20 – 30 minutes.  Then turn off, let cool a little and enjoy.

If you want to make a Chicken or Turkey Rice soup, use similar ingredients, but rice instead of potatoes.  Pre-cook your rice separately and have it sit – you want to add your rice as one of the last ingredients (not like potatoes) otherwise it will over-cook and swell up and get mushy.

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