Winter in New England is a magical time. Brilliant blue skies, biting cold, mountains of blowing snow and squeals of joy from those energetic souls racing down hills and mountains on sleds, toboggans and skis are all around. For nearly five months each year, winter takes hold, and hearty New Englanders delight in the great outdoors. Among the more popular activities in which they partake are skating, tubing, snowmobiling and skiing—both cross-country and downhill—activities that form the basis for an entire sector of the New England economy.
At the end of the day, though, after braving the frigid temps and frosty conditions, these hearty souls look forward to relaxing evenings by a crackling and comforting fire, with food and drinks to warm the bodies and calm their souls. And the food most associated with soothing warmth is soup. A staple dish that has endless varieties, soup is versatile and simple in its nature, but has so many complex variations. Today I am going to teach you to make a turkey soup that will keep you warm in these winter months, and keep you craving it all year long.
Good soup starts with good broth, and the turkey in this particular soup can be switched out for chicken if you prefer. The base of every great stock starts with roasting the bones. When we roast bones, we add a rich and deep flavor to the stock. It helps break down the natural fats and, let’s face it, fat equals flavor.
Next we are going to add some basic things you will have around the house to enrich the stock and build flavors. Note that we do not salt the stock at all. The only time we salt a stock is when it is ready to be eaten. The reason for this is simple-as the stock reduces, salt will intensify greatly. Only after we have the correct reduction do we want to salt to taste. Remember, it’s easy to add salt, but almost impossible to remove it.
For this recipe we are making a homemade turkey stock.
Turkey Stock–This simple stock recipe is a great way to reduce your food waste and make some wonderful stock for soups, stews or any time you need a burst of flavor. Feel free to use the scraps of vegetables for this stock.
Serving Size: 2 Quarts; Active Time: 15 minutes; Total Time: 6 Hours
2 Tbls Peppercorns
1 Medium onion cut into quarters (Also feel free to use onion scraps)
2 Carrots cut into 1 inch pieces
2 Stalks of celery cut into 1 inch pieces
5 Sprigs of parsley
3 Bay leaves
Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Roast carcass for 30-45 minutes till brown.
Combine all ingredients with enough cold water to cover the turkey carcass. (about 5 quarts). Bring to a boil and reduce your heat to simmer. Skim the surface of the stock to get rid of any impurities. Continue to simmer until the stock reduces by at least 1/3. Strain the stock in a mesh strainer and discard any solids. This stock can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or kept in the freezer for three months.
Turkey & Wild Rice Soup
Serving Size: 5-7 People; Active Time: 30 minutes; Total Time: 2 hours
2 Quarts of homemade turkey stock (see recipe)
16oz of leftover turkey
1 cup of wild rice
3 carrots peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
3 stalks of celery cut into 1 inch pieces
4 sprigs of thyme
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 medium onion diced
Add all of the ingredients except the rice to a large stock pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for 1 hour or until the soup is reduced by 1/3. Add the rice and cook until the rice is fully cooked, about 20 minutes.
Cozy up by the fire with your beverage of choice, and enjoy!