I love soup…especially homemade soup. I think there is nothing more homey and comforting than soup. It makes the house smell good. It warms me up. It can be easily shared. It can be frozen for a later date. It’s economical. And, it gets better the next day. What more could you ask of food?
Yes!Chef! makes great soup, especially turkey or chicken soup. He makes everything from scratch, including the broth. You don’t have to make your own broth, but the soup will be better if you. Just be aware that it takes about two days because you have to let the broth cool overnight.
A good turkey soup starts with a good turkey dinner the night before. And, like Yes!Chef!’s roast chicken, his roast turkey is equally scrumptious. He brines his turkey a day before in some kind of salty, brown sugary, spicy water concoction and then slow roasts the turkey. Yes!Chef! doesn’t mind taking his time when it comes to making a good and tasty meal. He wanted this to be extra good because the turkey was for our Christmas dinner.
And, as you can see, the turkey was moist. What you can’t do is taste it or smell it. I’m so sorry because it smelled delicious and the flavor was very nice.
Now, as much as I like Yes!Chef!’s roast turkey, I do not think a turkey is nearly as flavorful as a great roast chicken (as in Yes!Chef!’s Roast Chicken). However, this Christmas turkey was delicious. In fact, the whole Christmas meal was quite memorable, especially since we decided to have a Pajama Party Christmas this year. Wearing fun clothes always makes a meal more festive.
I realize the people in the above picture look a little crabby, but they were just funnin’ with me. My mother-in-law apparently did not get the secret memo to look grumpy. And yes, most of them are in their pj’s.
At any rate, the next day Yes!Chef! cleaned most of the meat off the bones, broke them up and placed them on a parchment lined cookie sheet. (BTW, I love parchment lined baking sheets. They make baking sheets easier to clean up and, more importantly, it looks better than a bare sheet tray in photographs.) 🙂
There’s still quite a bit of good stuff on those bones and you can see that he also has some turkey skin amongst the bones. Normally I make him bake off the turkey skin until it’s crispy and yummy and then I can have one or two pieces to snack on. He’s not really a fan of crispy poultry skin, but I’m not embarrassed to admit that I love the stuff. Even though I told him that some of the finer restaurants are serving crispy chicken skin as appetizers. (Chicken skin trends in restaurant dishes), he was not impressed. But, he says it’s more important to have the skin impart flavor to the broth, so I let it pass.
He also chops up carrots, onions and celery and tosses them with a little oil (known in the cooking world as mirepoix.)
And, he throws all of this into a 375 degree oven and roasts it all for about 1 hour, or longer depending on the amount of browness (caramelization). When they are done, they look like this:
As a side note, my mother-in-law could not understand why I wanted to photograph a “carcass”. I told her it was for the blog and she said, “No one will want to see some old dead turkey bones”. That may be true, but here they are anyway just in case someone wants to know what their roasted bones should look like.
Boil, boil, toil and no trouble.
Actually, bring it to a boil and then lower to a simmer. Simmer for a few hours until the “flavor is coaxed out.” (That’s a direct quote from Yes!Chef!)
After that, strain out the solid stuff and let the broth cool to the point where you can stick it in the fridge. Leave it there overnight. The fat can be skimmed off after it cools down or right before you put it in the refrigerator.
The next day it should look very gelatinous. I’m sorry I don’t have a picture of that, but the sneaky chef finished up the soup while I was out and about doing what I do in my day job…which happened to be some studio work.
(PS. I love Instagram. It is such a fun little app to use.)
When I got home that night, the soup was on and it was just what I needed to warm my bones and relax my soul. Yes!Chef! rummaged around in the fridge to find some good stuff to add and aside from some leftover turkey, he found some hot Italian Sausage, some frozen peas, some broccoli, celery, onions and carrots. He threw all this stuff in the soup and brought it up to a nice simmer. He let it simmer until the vegetables were done to his liking, which is slightly past crunchy. He also boiled up some fun pasta, which he does not put into the soup. He says noodles get soggy if you leave them in soup. So he places some noodles in the bottom of the soup bowl and ladles the soup over the top. I like this method because then I can put as much or as little noodles in my soup as I would like. And since I am trying to lose a little weight, I mostly go without the noodles and just add additional cut up veggies that we usually have lying around the refrigerator.
The soup gets better the next day and it freezes well. Here is a tip for freezing soup in freezer bags. Open up the bag and stuff it into a smallish bowl, where the sides of the bag just go over the top of the bowl. Pour the soup into the bag and when it gets to the top of the bowl and fills up most of the bag, close up the bag. then you can lay the freezer bag flat in the freezer. You can also use smaller bags which lend themselves to individual servings. I doubt the soup will hang around long enough in your refrigerator to get to the “let’s freeze these leftovers because I’m sick of eating it” stage. You will not get sick of eating it. You will look forward to your super tasty, really easy dinner for several nights. Add some crusty bread and a slather of butter and you are set.
What could be easier?
This is about the most comforting thing you can eat on a cold winter night.