Turkey soup

26 Dec

Turkey soup

Turkey soup is as much a part of our family Christmas as the main meal, and is one of those dishes that take me straight back to my childhood. There is no other dish that gives me more comfort.

We ate roast turkey only at Christmas and Thanksgiving, so we couldn’t have had turkey soup that often. But perhaps mum froze the stock and used it throughout the year. (And she also made pretty much the same soup with chicken carcasses or ham bones.)

Turkey soup isn’t the kind of recipe that calls for precise measurements. When I make it with the carcass of our 6kg turkey, this are roughly the quantities I use.

Turkey soup

  • 1 6kg (13lb) turkey carcass, stripped of meat and broken down
  • 3 peeled onions: one halved, the other two chopped
  • 5 peeled carrots: two halved, the other three chopped
  • ½ cup pearl barley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 7-8 whole peppercorns
  • 3 stalks celery, with leaves, chopped
  • 2 cups cooked turkey meat, shredded
  1. Place the turkey carcass in a stock pot with the halved onion and two halved carrots. Add enough cold water to cover everything by a couple of centimetres. (In my stock pot, this is about four litres).
  2. Bring the pot to a boil. Skim any foam that appears from the surface, then lower the heat and leave to simmer for a couple of hours until it is roughly reduced by half.
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool.
  4. Strain the stock through a sieve. Pick off and reserve any remaining meat, then discard the bones and vegetables.
  5. Chill the stock in the fridge (or if it’s December, just stick it outside).
  6. Skim off the congealed fat from the surface of the stock before transferring it to a soup pot. Bring the stock to the boil.
  7. Add  salt, pearl barley and peppercorns, lower the heat and simmer for half an hour, or until the barley is tender.
  8. Add the chopped onions, chopped carrots, celery and shredded turkey meat and simmer until the vegetables are tender.
  9. Adjust the seasoning and serve.

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