Todd's Turkey Soup

One of the joys of Roast Turkey is making this soup from the leftovers. This recipe makes about 10 quarts of soup.

A word about stockpots: I made this soup the first few years in a cheesey 'salt and pepper porcelain' covered lightweight pot. It worked, but you get uneven heating and sticking on the bottom. I graduated a few years back to a 16 quart Faberware stockpot that is stainless steel with a thick 'slug' of aluminum sandwiched in the bottom. This works much better for this soup.

Farberware 16 quart stockpot at Amazon

Put all of the above into a large covered 16-20 quart stockpot. Crank the heat up to 'high' to start, as it takes a surprising amount of time to bring this up to where it begins to boil. Once it actually starts to boil, turn the heat down to low and let it simmer about one hour. I then let it cool about one more hour.

After it has cooled a bit, I use a slotted spoon to dip all the solids out of the stockpot. I use a collander inside of a slightly larger bowl as my 'sorting bowl'. You can pick all the bones out and toss them, and the precious stock gathers in the bowl for return to the stockpot.

The rule here for what to save depends largely on your audience. I discard all the onion and celery (more veggies get added later).

Most folks do not like skin, tendons or other connective tissue in their soup, not including some of the guys I eat Pho with weekly.

Your mileage may vary.

I discard all of that stuff, and retain the meat that comes off the carcass, chopping it into spoon-size pieces as necessary. I pay particular attention to some of the dark meat that hides in the back region; that rarely gets 'carved' off the bird, and there is substantial meat there. Return that meat to the stockpot and add:

I adjust the amounts of the veggies by inspecting the soup 'for color'; I just keep adding to the soup till I think it has about the right amount of green and orange as I stir it.

Similarly with the rice, I adjust the amount depending on how much 'volume' I have in the soup. I tend towards 'too much' rice, and my soup comes out very thick and rich.

Cook at a simmer / low boil to cook the rice through. About 45 minutes usually does it for me. Stir every ten minutes or so, taking care to scrape the bottom (I use wooden utensils) as the rice can tend to stick if you're not careful. Add water as you go if you think it's coming out too thick.

Add salt and pepper to taste (more salt than pepper) and serve.

This recipe makes about 10 quarts, and it freezes very well. A simple canning funnel makes the pouring of this soup into quart jars much easier. When serving the frozen soup, I find that one quart makes for two hearty portions, and water is added during the heating process.

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