I almost never use a recipe when I make soup. It is one of those foods that I prepare that remind me a lot of my musical background. Soup (along with salads and quiche) is like improv. 12-bar blues is done by countless blues musicians again and again. Think "Johnny B. Goode" or "Come On" by Jimi Hendrix, "Pride and Joy" by SRV; these are all well known examples of 12 bar blues. This method or formula was laid down by W.C. Handy over a century ago, so many songs hang on this simple way of writing music. Other musicians come along and put their own spin on the formula. B.B. King, Muddy Waters, Ray Charles...they all used it. When you hear it, you think, "That's the blues." Same with cooking. Like the 12 bar blues, there is a method that is used in soup making, but the whats and hows of a particular pot of soup is up to you! You are the composer. When you sample your creation, you think, "This is soup!" I love throwing this and that in my Dutch oven and seeing what comes out!
The first thing you do in soup making is make a broth, whether it is chicken, or beef or in our case turkey. Broth is make by taking bones with meat on them and cooking them with some veggies and herbs to make a flavorful soup base. Cooking for a long time brings out the richness of the meat and pulls flavor from the bones. After you have a good broth, you can add whatever veggies you like. You can add a starch like potatoes, rice or noodles. Its your improv, you're the soup composer. Rock on!
As soon as I butchered the turkey, I put the neck, the two wings and the back in my Dutch oven and covered with water. They just barely fit.
|Turkey pieces in my pot before I added enough water to cover.|
I recognize that not everyone has the time to make a broth like this. If you have to, a store-bought broth is fine. I have some in my fridge right now as a matter of fact. You should give this method a try at least once, you might find it isn't as time consuming as you thought.
Also, what if you didn't cut up your turkey? This same method can be done with the cooked bones from a whole,roasted turkey. Just don't use bones that have been gnawed on. ;)
After the pieces of turkey have cooled, it is time to removed the meat. From the neck, wings and back, I got about four cups of turkey. I used 3 cups for the soup. You could use all of it if you want!
Turkey noodle soup:
8 to 10 c. turkey broth
3 c. turkey
1 T. oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
4 to 5 carrots, chopped
3 to 4 celery stalks, chopped
1 1/2 c. egg noodles
In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook for 8 minutes. The onions should have taken on some color and the carrots and celery should have softened.
Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Now, add 8 to 10 cups of that yummy broth you made earlier. Let this simmer on medium low heat for about 45 minutes. Add your egg noodles and cook for 8 minutes.
Add the turkey last, just taking the time to warm it up. Enjoy!