Tag Archives: Soup

chili

Winter Turkey and Leftovers

I love turkey, and I’m sad that it seems like the only acceptable time to roast a turkey is during the holidays. Why? Maybe it’s because turkey usually weighs so much that it take a large group of people to eat it? Maybe it’s too much work to roast so no one feels like making it unless they have to? Who knows? All I know is that I wanted a turkey, and I already knew what I wanted to do with the leftovers. There aren’t actual recipes to follow, since this just consists of what to do with your own leftover turkey meals, and I figure everyone has their own ways of preparing a Thanksgiving type feast.

Here is an example of leftovers

 

I’m home for the week due to school vacation, and conveniently my parents had a frozen 12 lb. turkey. They thawed it in the fridge so that I could make it when I got home (literally, I had to brine it the night I got home). My brother and I made a quick brine, as it was pretty late and we were sleepy, of just water, broth, lots of salt, Italian seasoning, and lemon juice. It sat overnight in the fridge, and then the next day we roasted it.

I made a mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) for the turkey to sit on so I would get tasty juices for a gravy.

It also kind of props the turkey up so the heat can get to all parts

Then I mixed unsalted butter with more Italian Seasoning and put it under and over the skin of the turkey. Then, for fun, I quartered an orange and put 2 pieces inside the turkey and 2 outside. Then it roasted for some hours (we were drinking wine and not really watching the time, so I can’t be too specific) until it was done. I had also in the meantime made garlic mashed potatoes and a gravy, plus we steamed some veggies.

TURKEY!

Then we had a delightful dinner. We used the turkey bones to make a broth, along with the leftover pan drippings and mirepoix, and added some packets of turkey gravy, and let it simmer for a while. Then I strained the broth into another pot, picked the meat off the bones and added some of the leftover turkey meat along with fresh veggies and potatoes and let it simmer some more. Then we let it cool and stored the soup into containers to freeze. Later on, when we feel like having the soup, we defrost it and add rice to have a nice, hearty turkey soup.

Yeah, so what if it isnt pretty? It’s tasty, and that’s all that matters. And those are oranges floating in it, leftover from roasting.

But we still had a lot of turkey left. So, my brother made a turkey chili. He has a recipe he always uses for chili, but he uses it mostly as a guide. The recipe says, for example, to use 2 slices of bacon. He uses a whole package. Mostly the recipe serves to remind him what to put into the chili, and when to add it. He just changes how much to add.

I love chili.

And lastly, the mashed potatoes. As delicious as they were, there’s only so much of mashed texture a person can eat within a certain amount of time. So I did what my grandma once recommended to me. I fried them. To do this, I simply rolled a spoonful of potatoes, covered it in a light layer of flour, then coated it in an egg wash (2 eggs beaten, plus an equal amount of milk), and coated it in a mix of half panko and half Italian seasoned breadcrumbs. Then I fried them in vegetable oil at a temp of 325-350 degrees until browned. It was a wonderful textural change and made them more fun to eat, since mashed potatoes had become finger food! I only wish I had thought to make a sauce to go with them. Oh well, there’s always next time.

Crunchy outside, garlicky mashed potato goodness inside

You can also make these with leftover turkey meat and veggies, as long as they aren’t too wet and the ball can still hold its’ shape

So what have we learned from this? That it’s ok to make a turkey during the holiday off-season. It’s way more relaxing when it’s just for your immediate family (hence the drinking of wine while cooking) and then there are plenty of ways to make the leftovers fun. Other examples could be using the leftover turkey and veggies and making a turkey pot pie. You could have turkey sandwiches. You could probably make some sort of casserole with a layer of mashed potatoes on top (think of Shepherds Pie). If your store doesn’t have any turkey right now, ask in the meat department if they could order one for you. Chances are that they will.

cooking

Vegetarian Winter Soup

I’m not a vegetarian again, however I am sometimes too cheap to buy meat. This soup is lovely to make when I want cheap ingredients and a sustaining meal. Plus, it makes a large volume so I can freeze some and enjoy it throughout the winter.

So much left over when you are only cooking for one person!

I got the idea for this recipe from a book I bought when I was a vegetarian, Italian Vegetarian Cooking by Paola Gavin. In the book there is a rice and lentil soup recipe, which is the basis of this one, and I just jazzed it up a bit. I realize that if a recipe already has lentils in it then there is really no need for black beans too, but I thought it would add more texture and depth to the soup. I also happened to have a bunch of carrots lying around so I figured I might as well add those too. The original recipe calls for a can of diced tomatoes, but I only had crushed and so that’s what the recipe says. If you’d rather use diced, go right ahead. I’m sure it will still be delicious.

Since I was making this with the plan of freezing most of it, I opted to not add the rice to the entire mixture. Sometimes the rice will absorb all of the liquid and when you go to heat some up it won’t be soupy anymore. I plan on just adding some rice to it as I reheat it.

Just add a little rice when you reheat it and it will be perfect :)

An issue I had with the original recipe is that it says to simmer the lentils for an hour and a half. I guess that would depend on the kind of lentils you’re using. Since I use the Goya brand, they only really need to simmer about 20 minutes on their own. I would check what the instructions say on the packaging of whichever brand you buy before you follow this recipe.

Remember not to go crazy with salt while you’re cooking. Adding the cheese at the end will give it that extra salty and savory kick that it might seem like it’s lacking while it cooks.

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Roasted Sweet Potato and Corn Soup

I decided I wanted to make soup today. After spending 9 days, 6 hours a day, in a Stocks, Sauces and Soups class and then suddenly not making soup for several days after that I had a craving to simmer, season, and strain. There are a lot of soups on the JWU recipe website, so I thought it would be fun to try one I didn’t get to make in class. I was caught between Puree of Celery Soup and the Roasted Sweet Potato Corn Chowder. Ultimately I decided on the chowder, planning on buying celery for it anyway and making the celery soup later on.

The thing with the JWU recipe, however, is that it doesn’t seem to be a chowder. When I think of “chowder” I think of a soup that has milk or cream in it. This one has none. And so I changed the name. I also didn’t feel like buying some of the ingredients. I already have yellow onions, so why bother buying a red onion and shallots? And since I have dried herbs I stuck with those instead of buying fresh. What can I say, I’m cheap! I also went with chicken broth instead of veggie stock plus veggie broth because I wanted to buy those delicious chicken broth packets from Trader Joe’s. I love that stuff!

It’s blurry, but you get the idea

The JWU recipe also had a lot of steps that I’m simply too lazy for. They probably make sense if making a huge batch of soup, but I only made like a quart and a half worth so it was unnecessary. I planned on blending the whole thing at the end with my immersion blender, so I skipped steps such as pureeing the corn before adding it in.

I also thought this would be a good Fall recipe, despite the crazy heat that’s going on. Sweet Potatoes are a pleasant, homey type of potato, and Fall is all about homey comfort. Not to mention they are freakin tasty. The soup itself turned out so deliciously that I bypassed the spoon, picked up the bowl and drank it. How barbaric of me!  :)

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