In the colder months of the year, I love comfort soups, in the warmer months – cold soups.  We have soup for lunch Monday to Friday.  Different types, some from recipes, other’s from ingredients I see from my trips to the grocers.  So I thought I would make this a weekly posting.  This week’s soup is Turkey Vegetable.

Most (sorry Chef Josh, sometimes even though I work in my kitchen, I just don’t have the time) soups I make start with homemade stock.  In school, Chef Josh wouldn’t even let us utter the words packaged stock as I so painfully found out the first time he asked me to get him some chicken stock and I went to the pantry – yikes, I think I was washing pots and pans for a week.  We used to make large amounts of beef, chicken and fish stock for all our recipes.  I’m going to post the basic stock followed by the ingredients I used to turn it into soup.

You will find it is not complicated, it is not mysterious or laborious, but it will be the best soup you will ever have because it is made from scratch and with ingredients that inspired you.   I usually make the soup on a Monday morning (the joys of working from home, and oh yes, being a Chef, I work in my kitchen).   My quantities make enough soup for about 12 – 15 servings – but just use as much stock as you need i.e. if for 1 or two, scale down the ingredients for the soup.  Keep the stock ingredients the same, that way you will have stock ready when you need it. Freeze what you don’t use for later. What do you like to add to your soup?  Let me know!  Pictures follow the recipe.

Basic Turkey Stock
1 packet – Turkey Necks (usually two large necks per packet) or Legs/Backs etc.
6 litres of water – plus more for topping up as the water evaporates from simmering
1 Large Onion, peeled but left whole
3 Bay Leaves
3 Cloves
2 Stalks Celery, cut in half
2 Carrots, cut in half
10 – 12 peppercorns – lightly crushed

– You can also add parsley stems or thyme or just about any other herb to the pot, but the basics are above and will serve you well.
– A typical ratio of Onions, Celery and Carrot is 50% Onion, 25% Celery and 25% Carrot – stick with this ratio and you will never go wrong.

Stick the bay leaf to the onion using the end of the clove – 3 leaves and 3 cloves
If using necks, there is a silver skin surrounding the neck meat, remove this skin or score it with the tip of your knife
Add the turkey parts to the pot, cover with cold water, followed by the bay leaf studded onion, celery and carrots
Bring this to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to a simmer – skim off any stuff that comes to the top of the pot – you may need to do this a couple of times for the first 20 minutes or so
Let it simmer for about 1 ½ to 2 hours and turn off.
Let it cool, put it in the fridge.
After a few hours, skim off any fat that has congealed at the top – strain off the liquid – this is the base for any soup you feel inspired to make from Pho style to Feel Good comfort soups to Pureed or Creamed soups.

Turkey Vegetable soupTurkey Vegetable Soup
Vegetables – Carrots, Turnip – cut the same size – busy weekend, I ran in to pick up some things and saw turnips – okay, boring, but tasty. 
Onion large dice (I love rustic cooking) and Celery – ½” pieces
Meat – Turkey meat from whatever you used in the stock
2 tblsp’s Olive Oil
4 garlic cloves – lightly smashed

Heat the oil, sauté the garlic cloves (without browning them), add the onion – stir
Add the celery, carrot, turnip – stir
Add the stock, bring to a simmer – about 20 minutes until the turnips and carrots are cooked
Add the meat – bring back to a simmer and voila – soup for you!
Season with salt and pepper, taste and season again.  Surprised at how easy it is… told you!
As always – enjoy!