in an unusual twist of meterological events, us floridians have been experiencing a pretty decent amount of cold weather as of late. i've been savoring it, mostly because: soup making! i love cooking of almost any sort, but cooking up a soup has got to be my favorite. generally speaking, you throw a bunch of things into a big pot with some sort of liquid, let them simmer and fill your home with amazing smells while you do whatever you please, serve with big hunks of sourdough bread, eat slowly and experience the warming of your entire body and soul by something simple and delicious! ok, enough general soup praise and on to the specifics - my turkey bone soup! this requires a tiny bit of pre-planning because you need a turkey carcass. i got the idea to make this particular soup when we had a smoked turkey feast last week. afterward i glanced over at the turkey bones, with all their meat having been carved off, and realized a big pot of soup was in order. come sunday, after many hours of slow cooking, it didn't dissappoint. this soup is basically one big pot of coziness, and you need it in your life this winter. next time you cook a turkey, think before you throw away that carcass!
turkey bone soup
a turkey carcass
3 quarts turkey or chicken stock
1 lb bag of great northern beans
2 carrots diced
1 cup diced celery
1 yellow onion diced
3 diced garlic cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons marjoram
1 1/2 teaspoons thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
salt and pepper to taste
additional leftover turkey (not mandatory, but a great way to use any extra leftovers from your bird)
the night before, soak beans overnight in a pot as directed on the bag (there is an option to quick soak the beans, but i've never had much luck with doing it that way. soaking overnight is effortless and surefire). the next day when you're ready to begin your soup making, put the carcass in a large pot and add 8 cups of stock. add the marjoram, thyme and smoked paprika. cover and bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, for an hour, turning the carcass occasionally. add carrot, celery, onion, garlic, beans and 3 more cups of stock. uncover and simmer for another 90 minutes, adding the last cup of stock as needed. most of the meat should have fallen off of the bones at this point. pick through the soup with tongs and discard bones. have a cutting board handy so you can place any bones with meat still attached on the board and pick off the meat, addding it back into the soup. add additional leftover turkey and season with salt and pepper to taste. serve with a big, crusty loaf of bread!