Thanksgiving has come and gone, but it left behind one of the best leftovers of all, the remains of the turkey. The word carcass was tossed around a few times, and since it is one of the ugliest words in the English language, I will here forth refer to the carcass simply as the turkey.
My mother sent the turkey home with me this weekend, and I spent Saturday evening and Sunday morning making a couple of very large batches of stock. It was simple, the turkey, plus about 12 cups of water, a quartered yellow onion, a few stalks of celery, leaves and all, crushed garlic, and cracked black peppercorns. Leave to simmer for hours, and return to some of the most flavorful soup stock you will ever eat.
I started the soup by pouring the stock through a colander to remove any solids, then chilling the stock so that I could skim the fat off of the top.
Some fat still remains, which is a good thing, for flavor, but too much and your soup will be an icky oil slick.
I split up my stock into a few containers, one for the soup and a few more for freezing. A winter cold doesn’t stand a chance against my homemade turkey stock.
The soup ingredients were fairly simple, a chopped white onion, several cups of kale, chopped linguica (Portuguese sausage), white beans, and Israeli couscous.
I started by sautéing the onion and linguica in a little bit of olive oil until the onion was soft and the linguica was sizzling. Then I poured in the stock and Israeli couscous and brought it all to a boil.
At the very end, I added the white beans and kale, then shut the heat off and let the kale wilt in the soup. I also added some ground black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.
Delicious. Soooo simple, flavorful, nutritious, warm, cozy, comforting, and complete. I could eat this soup over and over and not get tired of it. The linguica gives it a smoky spice that keeps it from being a bland soup. Because of all of the flavors, I did not even need to add salt. It is just lovely.
Do you ever make homemade stock for soup? What was your favorite use for the turkey day leftovers?