Still looking for ideas to use up any leftover turkey? Or maybe just in the market for a new and delicious soup? One of Ron's favorite childhood meals was turkey dumpling soup after Thanksgiving. Since we hosted Thanksgiving this year I was happy to re-create one of his favorite meals with our leftover turkey. I really like adding lots of herbs in a soup like this, and I thankfully had lots on hand from Thanksgiving. Fresh thyme, sage, parsley and chives give the soup and the dumplings a wonderful boost in flavor. Herbs aside, one of the most important parts of any soup is the stock. I like to simmer the bone over a longer period of time to get the maximum flavor and nutrients to my soup base. I like to add the classic onion, carrot and celery to my stock, but like to add peppercorns and garlic for even more flavor.
So what was Ron's verdict you ask? He said it was amazing and just like he remembered! I love soup season and how a big bowl of soup can be the perfect warmer on a cold night. Much to my delight, Kellen loves soup and is always wanting to try new kids. His current favorite is butternut squash and, being that he is two, it can result in a big mess, but I am happy that he loves it.
Tonight, I am headed to the Polar Express at the National Railroad Museum with , Kellen, Ron my mom, sister and nephew. The event is very popular in our area and I was lucky enough to get tickets! We are members of the museum and love going special event or not. They host a large collection of real trains and is a great place for children to explore and touch. I do not know what to expect tonight, but know the book and a train ride are involved- exciting! Before heading to Polar Express we are stopping at my parents house for pizza. Kellen is a pizza lover (who isn't?) and I know he will be excited to dig in!.
1 turkey carcass
Water (about 12-15 cups or enough to just cover the turkey)
6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
2 onions, 1 chopped and 1 quartered (divided)
8 stalks celery, chopped (divided)
6 carrots, chopped (divided)
2 Tbl black peppercorns
3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
4 cups chopped turkey (or whatever you have left)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
1 cup Flour
2 Eggs, beaten
1/3 cup Whole Milk
½ tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
½ tsp finely chopped fresh sage
½ tsp finely chopped fresh parsley
½ tsp finely chopped fresh chives
Pinch of salt
Place turkey carcass in a large stock pot. Fill with enough water to barely cover the bones (it is ok if a few are poke out on top). Add thyme, quartered onion, 1/2 the amount of prepared carrots, 1/2 the amount of prepared celery, peppercorns and garlic. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Once stock has boiled, reduce heat to simmer and cook for at 2-6 hours. Place remaining veggies in covered containers and refrigerate till needed.
Once stock has cooked, strain out the solids and reserve the stock in a pot. Discard the carcass, cooked veggies, peppercorns, garlic and thyme.
Heat stock in soup kettle over medium low heat. Add remaining celery, onions and carrots. Add chopped turkey and season with salt and pepper. Allow soup to slowly simmer until vegetables are tender. When vegetables are tender make the batter for the dumplings. Place flour, eggs, milk, salt and herbs into a medium bowl. Beat with fork until combined. Make sure that soup is hot and simmering and slowly spoon teaspoon sized potions of batter into the soup. The dumplings will float to the top as they cook. If they break apart or do not hold shape you may want to increase the flour slightly and double check that you are giving the soup enough heat. Note: We prefer our dumplings on the small side for this soup and if you want large dumplings you may want to have a thicker batter. Season with salt and pepper.