I’m weird. No, not cause of that! Or that! Shame on you for mentioning that one… I was young and foolish! What do you mean that was last week!?
As I was saying before you so rudely interrupted me, I’m weird. Quit giggling darn it. The reason I’m weird? Because I like Winter. Yep. I do. I like the cold weather though I admit that I don’t venture out into it much because I have the worlds worst circulation and I get cold in August. I like the snow when it happens, I like the coziness, I like being all bundled up in my recliner with a book and a cup of tea while the wind whistles outside my door. The problem this year is that as much as I like Winter, there hasn’t BEEN much of one this year. Where did Winter go!? Who hid it!? I want a REAL Winter! But no matter what, I like all the aspects and feelings that go with Winter.
And I definitely like the foods. We humans eat heartier in Winter. We eat meals that simply wouldn’t work in the full blown heat of Summer. Foods like stews and casseroles and pork roasts full of fat and massive flavors. Also, foods like soup.
Normally, I don’t eat a lot of soup… I’ve just never been a huge fan. I LIKE it ok, just not enough to eat it often. But in the Winter there is nothing like a bowl of soup chock full of meat and veggies and pasta and whatever I can find to throw in it.
For the last few days, I’ve been working on a turkey soup. No, it won’t take you that long to make it… I just got sidetracked by life and couldn’t finish preparing it. To make it the best way possible you SHOULD make it over two days however. This utilizes a freshly made stock, the turkey used in the stock, fresh veggies, pasta, a can of white beans thrown in for good measure and various other goodies. It’s hearty and filling and cozy and everything a Winter soup should be. So give this a try. There is some actual work involved but it’s worth it after you taste a spoonful of this. Also, don’t be put off by the can of cream of chicken soup put in at the end. One, it’s optional and two, optional it may be but it adds a boatload of flavor and creaminess without diluting the soup at all. For all of the huge flavor this has, it’s really quite simple. This makes a lot of soup but it freezes well if you’re not feeding the mongrel
Creamy Turkey, Veggie & Pasta Soup
- 3 large turkey wings (they usually come in packs of 2 so just roast them all and do whatever with the 4th…add it to the soup also, eat it, give it to a very lucky dog )
- 1 large onion
- 8 cans good quality chicken broth (you can get them on sale for like 30 cents sometimes)
- 1 lb baby carrots or a 1 lb bag regular carrots, cut in bite sized chunks
- 1 small head of celery, chopped into bite sized chunks (include the leaves)
- 2 medium onions, cut into bite sized chunks
- 1 small bag frozen peas (I didn’t have any this time but normally use them), thawed and drained
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon ground dried sage
- 2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3 bay leaves
- salt and pepper to taste (I don’t give amounts on those because people tend to have vastly different ideas of how salty a soup should be.)
- 8 ounces (uncooked) of your favorite pasta (I used Cavatappi because I just love the shape), cooked in salted water and drained
- 1 15 ounce can white beans (use great northern, large limas, baby limas, whatever you prefer)
- 1 family size can of cream of chicken soup (Like I said- optional but it adds a wonderful creaminess and flavor but doesn’t dilute the soup the way cream or milk would)
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lay your turkey wings out in a large baking pan. Take one onion and cut it up and drop it in with the turkey.
- Roast the turkey and onions at 375 degrees until the wings are a nice dark golden brown. Don’t skip the roasting step… it is what gives this it’s deep flavor.
- Add the contents of the baking pan (use a lil bit of broth to help deglaze the pan if you need to) and 4 cans of broth to a large pot.
- Bring to a gentle boil over medium high heat then reduce the heat to low and cook at a simmer for 2 hours.
- Scoop the wings out and let cool. Take all the meat off of the bones, discarding (or eating ) the skin and throwing out the bones. You’ll get a good amount of meat from the wings which is why I use them over other parts. They are fatty enough to add good flavor but still white meat thus not overly greasy. Plus, they’re fairly cheap. Once you have all the meat off, put in a covered bowl and refrigerate until time to add it back into the soup.
- Refrigerate the stock overnight so that the fat can harden. Next day, scoop off as much fat as you want. Please don’t take it ALL off though… fat is flavor. I usually take off about 2/3′s of it.
- Put the stock back on the stove over medium heat. Add in the 2 medium onions, celery bay leaves and other herbs. Add in salt and pepper to taste. I’m not big on pepper so I don’t use tons and I don’t like a really salty soup so I probably use about a tablespoon. Use more or less as preferred.
- Cook at a gentle simmer for about one hour or until the veggies are nice and tender and all the flavors have blended.
- Ideally, you would now put this back in the fridge for a day to let the flavors marry (Celery, I take you Bay Leaf…) but it’s not absolutely necessary.
- Either way, when ready to continue, add in the reserved turkey meat and the can of beans. Simmer for about 30 minutes; just long enough to infuse the flavors of the turkey back into the broth and the broth back into the turkey.
- Throw in the pasta that you cooked. Cook for about five more minutes over medium heat just to heat up the pasta. If using the cream of chicken soup (please trust me and use it) add it at the same time you add the pasta.
- Ladle into bowls and sprinkle each serving with some grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with some good bread and enjoy!