Watch For Bones Kids!

That’s exactly what my mother would say as she was ladling out steaming bowls of her Post Thanksgiving Turkey Soup.  My mother was a lovely, but very frugal woman and her idea of soup was a pot full of turkey bones and spent vegetables to which she’d add rice and call soup.  We literally had to “watch for bones” in the “soup”.  Years later my brother asked me: “Why was Mom’s turkey soup so bad?”…  My answer: “Because stock isn’t soup”.

Good stock is the building block of great soup.  All the turkey bones and vegetables should be spent having given up their essences to the pot.  The bones and veggies are then discarded so that fresh vegetables, seasonings and meat can be added to create soup.

Hopefully, you’ve saved your turkey bones and carcass because good stock is just a simmer away!

Turkey Stock for Soup

Good soup starts with good stock.  More of a guideline than a recipe.  Add anything: mushroom stems, leek tops, parsnips, scallions, etc. but remember adding too many green things can make the stock appear green (avoid all cabbage family veggies).  The less fat and skin that goes into the pot the less fat there will be to skim off the top.

turkey carcass pick off  “good meat” and reserve for soup.

3 onions, roughly chopped

3 stalks of celery including leaves, roughly chopped

3 carrots, peeled if not organic, roughly chopped (the only way I can use carrots)

mushroom stems and trimmings

parsley stems

1 large bay leaf

1 sprig thyme

1 large clove garlic, smashed

a few whole peppercorns

Place ingredients in a large stock pot.  Cover with cold water and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and skim any scum that forms on the surface.  Cook uncovered for 3 hours.  When cool enough to work with remove solids from pot with tongs or a large strainer.  Ladle stock through a cheese cloth lined sieve.  The last 1/2 to 1 cup of stock or so will be cloudy and dusty don’t put it through the cheese cloth just discard it.  Refrigerate stock overnight.  Any fat will rise to the surface and solidify making it easy to remove with a spoon and discard.

You are now ready to make soup!  Stay tuned for the next installment of Turkey Day Leftovers for Turkey Soup, GP-friendly Big Bird Sammies and Leftover Thanksgiving Dinner Pie.

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