Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Smokin' Turkey Soup

iPhone photo. High class.
About a month ago, we hosted a party to celebrate the (very very) soft-launch of a little side project of mine called Potluckiest. The food was pretty much out of this world (I mean, come on), and everyone's contributions were outstanding. But the pièce de résistance was our smoked turkey.

The turkey was brined and smoked and gone very quickly. There was quite a carcass left though, and it smelled so good that I had to turn it into stock. Mr. Turkey turned into about 6 cups of stock, and 4 cups of shredded turkey (I thought we had picked it clean...it's amazing what 6+ hours of boiling over the course of 3 days will do!).

And if you're worried that the shredded turkey had no flavor (how could it possibly, after being boiled for so long?), worry not. It's still very flavorful, and shredded so finely that it didn't get chewy or tough. Instead, I was left with a delectable pile of meat, and several cups of stock, both of which sat in the freezer for about a month.

Until Monday night.

Hungry and looking for carb- and sugar-free options, I remembered the turkey business taking up valuable freezer real estate and decided to improvise. [sorry excuse for a recipe starts now] I browned up some garlic (in a little bit of lard, because...I had some in the fridge), tossed in the frozen hunk of shredded meat, popped the cylinder of stock out of its tupperware, and set it to work in the Le Creuset. I added whatever was in the kitchen (a green bell pepper, some cipollini onions, a little olive oil, a little white wine) and let it defrost as it simmered. Added a can of tomatoes, and a can of black beans, which turned out to be great ideas both, and also tossed in fresh kale and chard from our garden because lah di dah. I don't even remember what spices I threw in there...chili powder, black pepper, lemon pepper, paprika, oregano...unidentified-red-curry-type-spice-whose-label-has-rubbed-off. It was all good.

Topped that baby with some avocado, Greek yogurt, and Tapatío and BOOM. That is some damn good smoked turkey soup.

There are about 4 cups left, hanging out in the fridge in glass jars, waiting to be reconstituted with a little more stock and wine. And there are still 2 cups of stock and 2 cups of shredded chicken hanging out in the freezer.

Healthy, delicious, and filling, this soup-from-scratch makes me feel like bragging about my culinary prowess. But guys, it's too easy. I can't get all high and mighty (besides, that's not the KKS way) and condescend to you about the joys of cooking from scratch and my magnificent stockpile (get it? stock - pile? oh I slay me) just waiting in the freezer.

I have a lot of stock at the moment. It's true. And making it is time-consuming, but it's not hard. (add carcass and/or veggies to a big pot. cover with water. boil until it tastes good. strain out the stuff. freeze the liquid or reduce it down further and then freeze it. boom.) Because it takes a while, and good-quality stock is pretty readily available for purchase, I don't always believe it's worth it...but this soup is worth it.

I guess the lesson here is that if you're going to take the time to smoke your own meat, you should take the time to make your own stock. Lesson learned. It's really, really worth it.

53 comments:

  1. Food envy. And chef envy. And garden envy. And Kim envy.

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  2. Next time you're out here, you'll have to come over for dinner.

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  3. So, very appropos: my friend Rachel apparently started this sweet Tumblr tag (or something? I have no idea how Tumblr works) called Stock Tips, where people can like, share their tips on soups and whatnot.


    This one blew my mind. I mean, duh. I mean, how have I not thought of this before?
    http://rachelfershleiser.com/post/72799072706/jaimealyse-four-literal-stock-tips-save-your

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  4. I think I know what you mean.....,hope I'm not interupting!!!!

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  5. Soup. I used to think it was impossible. There was a place at the Mall called Soupmasters. I was very impressed. 'Be ye angels?' is a question I'd have disallowed myself from asking. It is well I didn't think of it. Turns out, soup isn't actually very hard to make. For whatever reason, the knowledge of soup-making has not been universally inherited. Actually, though -- and not to disrespect anyone's ::ahem:: smokin' hot smoked turkey soup -- soupmaking mostly takes place down on the 'advice level' of cooking: a short lesson and a good pep talk later, you could be making soup, tasty beyond any level you'd have imagined possible. I'm almost there myself. Frankly, I think reading this post will have led to a heightened level of soupmaking in my household. I'm no expert, but I very strongly suspect I recently made a stew, by myself, from scratch. I passed it off as a soup, you know, to put that feather in my culinary cap, but on a more reality-based level, I think what really happened was: I made stew. I think what I learned from that experience is that stew is a good starting point. It can lead to higher levels of soupmaking, while at the same time being extremely hearty, healthy, and satisfying. I think what I'm trying to say is 'I wish there was some left.' Maybe Kim will e-mail me some of her soup.

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  6. Can I come over for dinner soon? It looks amazing!

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  7. Haha, @àlaune! If only I could email soup, I totally would! But you're right: soup ISN'T actually very hard to make! And I love that you passed off a stew as a soup...they're so similar anyway, as long as it's delicious, who care what you call it (feathers in culinary caps aside)?

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  8. It's a bit of a long drive for soup, but it might be worth it :)

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  9. At Soupmasters, I used to get the Jambalaya. If you ask me, that isn't really even a soup. But, they would make it a little on the soupy side, and, it would be just so, because, if it was too soupy, you'd have been sitting there with it, thinking, "Man, this Jambalaya really sucks the big one." But that never happened. It was always just right. You could get it in a piece of fresh bread they turned into a bowl. It was so good. I am tempted to say, "Then they took Soupmasters away," but it might sound so sad you would think I need mood stabilizers, when actually I just like being creative. Also, I have no evidence that Soupmasters didn't go out of business under the heavy weight of it's own mis-management. Not that I have evidence that it was mis-managed. It cut a jaunty profile, always looking so sharp right there where the food court meets the rest of the Mall. I really thought it would be there forever; the Jambalaya was so good. Gosh, all of this is reminding me of a custom instant soup I used to make, but that's a whole other story. Are you aware that they make Tapatio Doritos? It's really easy to eat too many.

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  10. You are friends with each other?

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  11. Susan Mary Ann JonesJanuary 15, 2014 at 8:10 AM

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  12. Well, I have my moments. I really was asking about the Doritos, though.

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  13. I'm not really into Doritos, honestly. Cheetos are a whole different story, though...

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  14. I know what you mean, about Doritos. I liked them when there was, like, just Nacho Cheese and Cool Ranch. I actually remember when there was just Nacho Cheese. Can't really do it anymore, but when I found out there were Tapatio ones, well, curiosity got the better of me. They were definitely worth a try. I think the existence of such a chip speaks to the repute and dominance of Tapatio sauce, although I am not sure how wide a distribution is enjoyed by the Tapatio Dorito. Actually, I was kind of wondering if they are available in Northern Cal. Like, San Francisco-ish.
    Gosh, and when I saw the word Chee-tos in the reply I thought I'd be more-or-less stumped. I just remembered I once had a job where I used to buy a little bag of Chee-tos with my lunch. I definitely think it's about the crunchy variety, when it comes to Chee-tos, although they make puffed as well, as I am sure you must be aware. Also, one of my high-school friends, one whose history with me was longer and more storied than most and whom I remember, accordingly, very fondly, apparently was given the nickname of Chee-toes. Chee-tos-toes, or something like that. I think she was serious. Maybe she was just trying to get me to leave her apartment.

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  15. your a great person

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  16. What they have in common though is that orange finger dust leave behind. Thoughts there?

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  17. Oh and I'm working on a new cocktail this weekend. It's inspired by drinking a dark and stormy in Mexico City. That's all I can say right now.

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  18. Cheeto finger dust is stickier, I think. More viscous. Almost like a small crumb. Dorito dust is more dust-like (in my limited Dorito experience, anyway).

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  19. Sounds magnificent. Looking forward to a taste test.

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  20. you biutiful my girl

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  21. I think Kim is right. Chee-to dust can really get caked-on. It's fine. I think Dorito dust has that same fine cheese powder as an ingredient. Ultimately, Dorito dust is dustier because of the extra spices which create that characteristic Mexican fire. Either way, I think you're looking at a wet-nap, minimum, to get your digits back online.

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  22. I rarely have a wet nap handy...I end up licking the dust off and trying to get the rest with a dry napkin. Glamorous!

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  23. Also, I upvoted this twice. Sorry. I saw the little penguin picture and thought I was signed-in. Maybe I got too excited.

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  24. Hi Kim' Kitchen Sink. my question is, who do you make pumkin pie? i REALLY want to know how to make it. Thanks, bye

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  25. I'm a big fan of soup specially here in ohio it get so cold so cold

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  27. Wanted to share this quote from Dooce, because I think it describes pretty well why I'm trying to do this less-carbs-less-sugars thing.

    "I wanted to look at my cravings (HELLO, SALT), examine them from a distance and see what I could do better." http://dooce.com/2014/01/16/dooce-juice/

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  28. I think Chef Google can probably help you out there. I haven't written about pumpkin pie yet!

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  29. You are bad!!! I love you!!!! I am off to the store to buy turkey drumsticks. I have a can of white beans; no white wine in the house, but I'm down to buy a bottle. Thank you!!!

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  30. Do it! I think you could throw just about anything in this soup and it would be good :)

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  31. Soup is definitely good for cold nights. It hasn't been too cold out here in California lately, but I still like making soup.

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  32. Love love love.

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  33. hi again. Just wondering if you make cooking vids. ALSO, if you can't make pumkin pie, I think I can give you a vid on that thanks anyway. Also I hope u got my q. bye

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  34. Hi Lizzie. I don't make cooking videos, but maybe someday! I've made pumpkin pie before, but haven't written about it.

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  35. I understand. Using Disqus is fun and exciting :)

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  36. Crunchy cheetos all the way. I love your story about your friend "Cheetoes" :)

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  37. follow at http://phillyyardyvibes.com

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  38. Well, one day, when you have the time... You know what I'm thinking, right? with the pumkin pie? bye love /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/\/ bye

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  39. You got it, lizzie. In the meantime, check out these videos I found in a 10 second Google search :)

    http://www.joyofbaking.com/pumpkinpie.html

    http://allrecipes.com/video/88/how-to-make-pumpkin-pie/detail.aspx

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  40. I am new to disqus but already liking it

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  41. Escada Pre MoldadasJanuary 28, 2014 at 3:50 AM

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  42. Glad to hear it. I think it's awesome!

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  44. Yeah, definitely crunchy. It's a fine snack.
    About Chee-toes, make no mistake, this was a very pretty, very popular girl. Blond. She was a friend of mine with whom I had been acquainted for many, many years. It was unfortunate, the way we grew apart, which really only happened because of the way we were thrown into different courses at school. It was nice to be able to re-connect a little when we got to be around nineteen, twenty. That was nice. I count it among my relatively few distinguishing honors that I was able to get close enough to find out, not only that she had earned this nickname, Chee-toes, but also that this name was largely poetical and, therefore, unfounded. No, in looking back, I'd have to admit there was nothing wrong with her feet. Not that I got close to them. Close enough to know. I'd say, within five feet, which is about how tall she was then, a little less than how tall she was. I mean, I didn't put my nose on them or anything. Nothing weird like that. I mean, I think we all know that, at a certain distance, you know, within like two or three inches, a foot's gonna smell. You know. I'm not saying she walked on water. You know. And so on like that. Pooping roses and so forth. Everybody poops. You know, it's just one of those things. What I mean is the feet seemed to be well in range for normal feet, which I observed from a friendly and not weird distance. The admission was startling. A thing like cilantro was only a very tiny seedling in someone else's window box in some vague place very very far away, like, maybe San Diego. Though this one time I think we almost went through the drive through at Taco Bell. We ended up going to a Burger King, instead. Man, was I naïve.

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