Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Soup, soup - the more you eat the more you don't droop!

I have just finished making soup and am letting it simmer on the stove. I am very excited for a bowl of hearty turkey soup. I also excited about actually writing the recipe down this time. I always try to make turkey soup after a big turkey dinner, but don't always get to it, and it seems like when I do make it, I always do it differently. I think that tonight's will be tasty - I have about another 20 mins for my barley pearls to soak in all of the turkey stock goodness.

I heart homemade soups. My mom makes the best homemade soups - all different kinds - pea, chicken, turkey, vegetable... I remember as a kid wanting something different when homemade soup was for dinner; however, I did love that with soup, there was always a homemade dessert. I look back on that now - and shake my head. We were so lucky to have a mom that made homemade, healthy and delicious soups. I feel so blessed looking back now - thinking of all the work that my mom put in to making us her soups from scratch - and how now, many years later, how happy I am when I go for dinner and soup is on the menu.

I know some women - the main chefs in the house I guess - whose 'male' partners won't have soup for dinner. They don't consider 'soup' a meal. I don't know what I would do if that was the case in this household. Well... actually I do - I would tell my 'male' partner to make his own damn dinner. 

I know that my dad loved my mom's soups too. I can picture him right now - sitting at the end of the table, hunched over a bowl of my mom's 'world famous' (maybe not 'world' famous - but definitely famous) soups, blowing on his spoon as the soup was a little to warm and slurping it back - making a loud noise - and being in full delight. What a site. He too loved soup nights because dessert was to follow.

What a tradition - thanks Mom. I love making soup, I love serving it with dessert following and I love how soup can be just about anything.

Tonight's turkey soup was done differently than I have done it before. I heated the stock in my largest pot - and then in my other large pot, I sauteed all of the vegetables up and then added them to the stock. I tend to not add a lot of spices or seasonings when I am cooking a turkey dinner or turkey soup - I really like the turkey to stand out. I do add poultry seasoning, rosemary, thyme and sage to my stuffing and the 'cavity' of the bird while it is cooking, but that's about it.

Turkey Soup inspired by my Mom

For the stock:
In a very large pot, add your turkey bones, cover the bones in water, add kosher salt and pepper and 2 tbsp of poultry seasoning, and simmer. Let it simmer for as long as you can handle it. Then I just pull out the bones - see if I can pull any meat from the stock, and strain my stock and let it sit. It's nice that you can simmer it for a full day, and then put in the fridge for a day or two, or freeze it and use it when you are ready.

Now to the soup:

1 large onion chopped
1 small to medium sized butternut squash - chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup of white wine
1 large zucchini - chopped into small pieces
4 stalks of celery - thinly chopped
1 cup of corn
Leftover mashed potatoes - I know - they are great in soup and it's a good way to get rid of them - probably a cup
1/2 cup of barley - oh barley!
Turkey leftovers 
If you have gravy left over - add this too!

Ensure that in your largest pot that there is enough room to add the vegetables. 

In your pot with the stock - add your turkey and potatoes and the barley. Continue to stir so that the barley doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot. In your other large pot, over medium heat saute the onion in olive oil - season with kosher salt. Let cook for about 10 minutes. Add the white wine to slightly deglaze the pot. Add the butternut squash and continue to saute. Once the squash is softening, add the celery, zucchini and the corn. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes. 

It's then time to add your vegetable medley (it will taste delicious) to the stock. And that's really it! Let it simmer for at least a half hour - and hour is better. Ensure that the barley is fully cooked. 

The flavours all coming together will not disappoint. 

I would love to know your turkey soup secrets - what do you add? What spices do you use?

Tomorrow is the start of a new book club. I was in a book club before, started by my friend Maegan - but it kind of turned into a 'hey, I haven't read the book, let's eat, what book?' kind of club. So hopefully this time will be a little more productive. I just worry though, because I don't really read during the winter. I find that it is super easy to indulge in book during the summer, lounging on the deck - but during winter - being inside - I have such an easy time focusing on other stuff that needs to get done. I am going to give it a try - it will be nice to visit with friends, expand my literature horizons and hopefully have wine and appys. 

Alright October 14th, that's it for me. I am prepping to laze on the sofa, after the soup is eaten, dishes are done and whatever comes my way.




Jenny said...

the more you don't droop, the better you feel, so eat your soup at every meal...
I love soup. I grew up on homemade soup and my dad was a huge lover of it.
I'm going to try and put the mashed potatoes in next time, sounds yummy. I always forget barley...and it's so yummy.
Mmmm....going to have to make some soon...LOL

Anonymous said...

Read your blog today and it brought tears to my eyes, it is so nice to be appreciated. I have also put left over stuffing in my soup if it is not too old as wel as the gravy. Your soup looked great.
Love ya Mom

Nina said...

Hello Cheryl....

I finally got a chance to sit down and look at your site. And it's amazing. So here's the seasonings I love using for any soup. It's good for anything really, meat, vegetables, and especially soup. It's called Vegeta it's imported from Croatia but you can buy it at Superstore in the spices. It comes in a blue tin with vegetables and a chef on the front of it. So there's a little Croatian secret for you. If you try it out let me know what you think....