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Cajun Turkey Soup, Don’t Let That Carcass Go to Waste

You’ve cooked the turkey. Now what do you do with all the scrap trimmings and that scraggly carcass? If you like good food, you make soup.
It has been my experience that making soup from a turkey carcass is best done as soon as possible after the turkey is served. The flavours just seem to be better. So, when I carve the turkey, I carve all the meat off and start making the soup after supper.

The first step is simmering the carcass and doesn’t take a lot of time out of celebrating the holiday. However, if you want to put the carcass in the fridge and do it the next day, you will still get good soup.

We had about a 10 pound bird. I broke up the carcass and put it in a large saucepan. Then I added any scraps and the tips off the wings. I added about 7 cups of water. You want to add just enough to cover most of the carcass. Too much water makes a weak stock. If you have a larger carcass and add more water, you will need to adjust the other ingredients.

Bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer and let it simmer for 2 hours. Strain the stock off the carcass and through the carcass out. Cool the stock and put it in the fridge.

The next day I took the fat off the top of the stock and put it in a saucepan. Note, the stock will likely be jellied at this time. That is good!. Put the stock over medium heat.

I chopped up 1 1/2 cups of onions. I didn’t have any celery so I added 1/4 teaspoon celery seed. If you have celery, add 1/2 cup chopped celery. I also added 1/2 cup chopped up bacon ends from my home made bacon. You could use ham instead. All these are added to the stock with 1 1/2 teaspoon of Cajun Seasoning Mix. The brand I used was Clubhouse but there are many to choose from.

The soup was brought to a boil and then reduced to simmer for 30 minutes, covered.

I then added 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey, 1 cups chopped frozen green beans, 2 tablespoons soy sauce and 1//2 cup arborio rice. I used green beans because I had frozen green beans in the freezer from my summer crop. Feel free to use any vegetables you like. I used arborio rice because we had some. It came out with a nice creamy texture but it would be fine with long grain instead.

Taste the soup and adjust the seasonings if necessary. Add more Cajun seasoning if you like it spicier. If you think the stock is week, add some dry chicken soup base. If you use just enough water to cover, this shouldn’t be a problem. Serve the soup or freeze some for a convenient lunch later.

The Verdict

This is a hearty soup with a good touch of spice and a hearty consistency. It is great on a cold fall or winter day.

The Old Fat Guy

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