Sunday, December 14, 2008

Accidental Soup: Turkey & Wild Rice

Sometimes the process of making soup is totally opportunistic. But that is as it should be: soup is the poor man's way of letting nothing go to waste.

In this case, the stock was gleaned from the carcasses of two roasted turkey breasts, scavenged from a recent catering job. I made the stock in my usual fashion--chopping the carcasses into pieces and adding onion, carrot, celery, parsley and bay leaf. A reader recently suggested using leeks in this stock instead of the more common onion. But I can only say we are planning to eat the soup, not make love to it, so why flatter it with such precious baubles as leeks?

In any case, I had been planning to make a soup eventually with this stock using some sort of small pasta from the grocery. But then while rummaging around the pantry I came across a fairly large quantity of wild rice previously purchased in bulk. I cooked some of that in turkey stock until it was puffed out and bursting with flavor. And it occurred to me: why buy pasta, when I had a big pot of wild rice? I went out to the garden and harvested some carrots and some parsnips that have been resting very comfortably in the soil and gaining sweetness in the recent cold weather. And so this soup was born.

Simply saute with extra-virgin olive oil in a big, heavy pot a half a small onion, a couple of carrots and a couple of parsnips, all cut into small dice and seasoned with a teaspoon of coarse salt to bring out the juices. When the onion is soft, add about 8 cups turkey stock, then about 2 cups turkey meat (saved from our heritage Thanksgiving bird) cut into medium dice and 1 1/2 cups (or so) cooked wild rice. Over moderate heat, bring everything up to steaming. Season as needed with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve in warm bowls with thick slices of a rustic bread. You can garnish the soup with chopped parsley or cilantro, as you like.

I do believe this is one of the most satisfying and flavorful soups I have ever tasted.

3 comments:

Mike said...

I do love soups and that sounds like a good one. Fresh home grown veggies, and wild rice is where most of my soups originate from to, the only decision left to make is what protein to add. Turkey is one I seldom use because I live alone and don't usually have laying around because of the quantity that I would have to purchase. I guess I should have asked for some carcases after Thanksgiving. Sure nothing as good as a nice warm bowl of soup with a fresh salad on a cool crisp day though. I do believe that poultry soups do keep me from getting colds and flu bugs. I seem to never get them. Enjoy you soup and good heath wishes to you. Mike http://www.2thinklikemike.com

Erica said...

Oh your making me want to make this again. We made some after Thanksgiving and it was very good! Yum Yum!!

Ed Bruske said...

Mike, you are right about the home-grown veggies. The carrots and parsnips in this soup are especially sweet, and give the entire soup and entra dimension of flavor.

Eria, I would make this soup anytime I had a turkey carcass. And since I froze a bunch of turkey broth, I'm sure we'll be having it again as winter wears on.