There is no better way to wind down from Christmas then knowing what you plan on doing with the inevitable left over turkey. Soup is on everyone’s list because you can freeze it for when you don’t remember pushing back from the table, groaning and loosening your belt.
Coeliac aside though, I was never a fan of barley. It’s the kind of grain that doesn’t hold up well in liquid creating a sludgy heavy mess more akin to stew than soup. I’m sure my sisters would disagree, but that is the way I remember our mother’s soup.
To each their own, I prefer to a cleaner looking and spicier soup and here’s how I did this weeks.
First this recipe is a kitchen sink approach suitable for any leftovers. Start with recycling the meat or poultry by removing the fat and separate the meat from the bones. Reserve the meat.
In a heavy stock pot cover the bones with water and simmer. As you simmer, use a skimming ladle [mine is from Pampered Chef] to regularly remove the scum from the surface. I skim and rinse the ladle under the faucet. It’s a pain, but well worth it for a clearer soup. After about 10 minutes of regular skimming the scum should be gone and you can add the veggies.
To the water chopped carrot and celery, peppercorns and a bay leaf or two. Simmer until it’s reduced by one third to one half. Drain the liquid into a bowl using a sieve. Throw away the bones. This is the basis for all stock regardless of whether it’s meat, poultry or veggie.
Without washing the stock pot, add chopped onions and celery to oil and sauté until golden. I like mine really brown like Nanny Jem. If you like a bit of crunch, reserve some of the celery to add later.
Add lots of minced garlic with ground black peppercorns and hot peppers, even a smidgen of cumin, sauté a moment.
Here’s today’s kitchen sink, not only did I add dark wing/thigh meat left over from a BBQ’d whole chicken, I also added bite-sized pieces from a small left left over steak … and I found some fresh Marjoram. I had no clue why I bought it or what to do with it, so just used my hand to remove the herb from a couple of stalks and tossed it in.
Add bite-sized chopped carrots and the remainder of your celery with any other veggie of choice. I used leftover slivered Bok Choy and Broccoli.
Add back the homemade stock and top up with ready made stock. How much depends on whether you or your kids like more or less broth, but remember it cooks down a little every time you warm it.
Since all the ingredients are already cooked, it’s just needs to be warmed through. Simmer, do not boil. Check the seasoning for salt and heat.
It’s so savoury that Rick passed on the bread.