Midnight Turkey Barley Soup
The problem with cooking large holiday dinners is dealing with leftovers.
The problem with going to someone else’s for large holiday dinners is not having leftovers.
On my way home from work Thursday I stopped at Lect’s Soup, what I usually refer to as “the really good soup place“, for lunch and got some chicken/bleu cheese/barley soup. Amazing soup. I wanted to find a recipe but the bleu cheese addition seems to be their own specialty. Instead I found Turkey Barley Soup with good timing, knowing there were leftovers coming up.
Thanks to Andrew’s Christmas turkey, for the first time I was able to use a recipe with a bird carcass in the ingredients.
- 1 meaty turkey carcass from a 16-pound bird
- 9 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
- 2 medium-sized onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 6 large cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1 pound parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 2 cups chopped dill
- 1 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoons ground pepper
- 10 quarts water
- 1 cup barley
We had a 12 pound turkey and my large soup pot only holds 8 quarts so it got cut back a bit. In the spirit of using leftovers, some things like celery and carrots I just used up what we had left in the fridge.
Parsnips I’ve never used before, but I expected to like them since I’m generally a fan of root vegetables. I had them confused with turnips in my head so I was surprised to see they look like big white carrots.
Dill I only see fresh in those expensive little packets of fresh herbs in the store. Since I’m not a huge dill fan I just poured in half a jar of freeze-dried I already had on hand.
I didn’t chop the parsley, instead just picking the leaves off the stems and tore them with my fingers. If the rest of the soup is chunky I don’t see anything wrong with big pieces of parsley either.
Place turkey carcass, vegetables, 1 cup dill, seasonings, and water in a large stockpot.
It all fits, barely.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer 3 hours.
Skim foam, as it cooks.
I wondered if I was doing something wrong because there was never any foam to skim.
Remove carcass; cool and shred meat.
I realized a problem at this point – how do you get out a now falling apart carcass while keeping the vegetables? I made a soup from scratch once that started with a pot full of vegetables that were supposed to all be thrown out once the broth was done. Such a waste, and this recipe doesn’t say anything about getting rid of the vegetables. I ended up pulling out what I could of the carcass, and then scooping out all of the vegetables into a separate bowl, first with a large spoon and then with my skimmer, until I was satisfied that there were no “icky bits” left floating in the soup. Normally I would strain the broth to be sure but I didn’t have another container large enough to hold it all.
Return meat to stockpot; add barley.
I’m amazed at how much meat came off of what was otherwise going to be thrown out. Now I see why people began making soup with leftovers.
Simmer 40 minutes.
Add remaining dill, stir, and serve hot.
Instead of dill I added the rest of our parsley.
I started cooking (chopping vegetables) around 7pm but because of the time involved in cooking it wasn’t ready until after midnight. Just time to taste it and put it away.
I’m really, really happy with how this turned out. My first successful broth-based soup! I’ve never been able to make a chicken/turkey broth that had flavor, and using a box feels like cheating. Neither have that restaurant quality flavor I’m looking for. It’s good enough on its own that I forgot I was going to try adding bleu cheese to a bowl to see how that turns out.