Friday, November 28, 2008

Organic Turkey with Rice Soup

© copyright Carrie Boyko

Mmm, Mmm Good for the Cold Days of Winter!

I hope you all enjoyed your delicious Thanksgiving dinner and are now ready to make homemade Organic Turkey Soup. If you don't have time right now, package that carcass up and pop it into the freezer until you're ready. Then thaw it out and follow along. I am going to walk you through broth that is not only easy, but also very low in fat. This will only take a few minutes to start, and then it is mostly a waiting game. The wonderful thing about the time you put into soup is that it makes a lot. You can freeze the extra is containers that hold enough for another family meal. You should be able to enjoy several meals of soup throughout December.

  • Turkey carcass from your Organic Thanksgiving Turkey, cleaned of meat
  • Turkey meat, cut or torn into small pieces
  • Filtered water
  • Organic Vegetable ends, especially: Onions, Carrots and Celery
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Pepper
  • Organic Poultry Seasoning
  • Organic Rice
  • Grated Organic Carrots
  • Chopped Organic Green Beans
  • Chopped or thinly sliced Organic Onions (I prefer yellow)
  • Organic Celery, thinly sliced

  1. Place the carcass in a large soup pot.
  2. Add a couple of teaspoons of sea salt, 1 teaspoon of organic poultry seasoning, and 3/4 teaspoon organic pepper.
  3. Add all the ends, leaves, stalks, and leftover vegetables from dinner and preparation. For the best flavor, include lots of onions, carrots, celery, and any other vegetable ends which you like to flavor your soup with. If you have nothing other than onions, carrots and celery, just use plenty of them. Cut the ends off of all of them that you have in your refrigerator or pantry.
  4. Cover the turkey with plenty of filtered water and cover.
  5. Bring to a boil on high. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for about an hour and a half.
  6. Taste and adjust seasonings after 1 hour and again at the end. If your broth isn't yet as flavorful as you'd like it to be, toss in a bit of the leftover turkey meat (dark meat will give the strongest flavor) and boil for another hour. That will usually do the trick.
  7. When it is done, remove from the burner and cool, scooping out the larger pieces of carcass, bones, vegetables, etc. with a strainer spoon.
  8. When cool enough to handle, place a strainer in a large storage container and pour the broth and remaining solids through the strainer. Lift the strainer out and discard the contents. If you are a really diligent composter, you may want to salvage the vegetables for your compost.
  9. Cover the container and place in the refrigerator for a few hours (or overnight), until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Now skim the fat off with a spatula and strain the broth several times through a fine strainer. This removes leftover small pieces of fat and gives you a clearer, low-fat broth.
  10. While the broth is doing its thing, you can prepare the veggies for the soup. Depending on the size of your turkey, you could have varying amounts of broth, so judge accordingly. I like a very full-bodied soup, so I tend to go heavy with the veggies. Every spoonful is mostly veggies, and a little broth. You may prefer more broth, so use your own judgment.
  11. My Turkey and Rice Soup will contain lots of onion, celery, carrots, and green beans.
  12. You can prepare 1-3 cups of rice for your soup also, again choosing the amount based on how much broth you have.
  13. When your broth is all strained and ready to make soup with, pour it back into your soup pot (now nice and clean).
  14. Bring it to a boil, and add larger pieces of vegetables first, along with the small pieces of turkey prepared for the soup. Taste test the broth for seasoning now and make adjustments to your taste. Lower the heat to medium low.
  15. After 5 minutes, add all the finer, quicker cooking vegetables and the rice.
  16. Continue to simmer for another five minutes, and soup is on.
  17. Warm turkey and rice soup is wonderful on a chilly day. Serve it with warm homemade bread for a wonderful comfort food kind of meal.

While you're enjoying your warm soup, you and your family can have a nice conversation about the upcoming holidays and your plans. Each of us may have different celebrations to prepare for. Although my December posts will revolve mostly around food preparations for the Christmas holidays, and creative and inexpensive gifts to make or buy, these posts may be useful for those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or other holy days. I invite you to stop in and decide for yourself. Monday's post will give you a sneak peek into December's topics, so join me for a preview. See you then.

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