Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Leftover Turkey Soup

I really call this Stone Soup, because you use whatever you have in your house. But it makes a great turkey soup, and if you happen to have lots of meat leftover, it's a fantastic stew.

Stone Soup (Leftover Turkey Soup)

Two tablespoons olive oil (not extra virgin)
One large yellow onion, chunked
Two large carrots, sliced (I like disks, but just keep it large however you do it)
Three ribs celery, chopped
Two to three cloves of garlic, minced
Turkey or chicken broth (I usually have more turkey broth leftover from the turkey than I can use, so I freeze it and use it for soup)
One bay leaf
Meaty turkey frame and leftover turkey
One large can of chopped tomatoes, with juice
If you have a potato or two that you want to use, dice them
One can white beans, slightly drained
A handful of frozen spinach (do you ever have a little bit left in a bag? Now's the time to use it as long as it's not freezer burnt)
A handful of pasta (any kind, though I like the bigger ones, like radiatore)
A cup of sliced cabbage

Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot until shimmery. Add onions, carrots, and celery, and saute on medium about two minutes. Add the garlic and cook about one minute, or until fragrant. At this point, you can add any kind of raw veggies you like--cauliflower would be nice. I'd stay away from asparagus and bell peppers.

Add broth, bay leaf, and turkey, making sure your broth just covers the turkey frame. Don't add too much broth unless you like a thin soup, and too little--you just won't get all that leftover goodness.

Bring to a boil and then reduce to a healthy simmer. Let cook for 20 minutes, then add tomatoes, and if you're using it, potato. Simmer for another 20 minutes.

Add the beans, spinach, cabbage and pasta. Simmer for 15 more minutes, stirring frequently so your pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot and burn.

Taste for seasoning and thickness. Too thick? Add some more broth or tomato juice. Too thin? Let it simmer some more uncovered or add a tablespoon of ditalini or other small pasta. (Go easy with the pasta as it sucks up ALL the liquid it can.)

I like to add a little basil and rosemary, and lots of fresh black pepper.

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