Monday, November 28, 2011


My father was a wonderful cook. As one of six Depression-era children living in a New York City tenement, he grew up in a household that wasted nothing. Especially food. This soup was his favorite recipe, not just because it's delicious and uses up the last of the Thanksgiving turkey, but because it was the only one of his mother's recipes he could remember. For me, the best thing about Thanksgiving  (besides the leftover sandwiches served with hot tea) is making this soup, along with his wonderful whole wheat molasses bread. 

Dad's Turkey Soup

From leftover turkey:
Peel skin off legs and wings (if not eaten), cut apart carcass and keep meatier parts (back and ribs) Throw away main cavity. (Don't forget to pull out the wishbone for later!)

1 onion, peeled and cut in half
1/2 green pepper, cut into three pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and cut in half
2 cans Cream of Tomato condensed soup
Pepper (1 teaspoon, approximately depending on how the turkey was seasoned)

For the next day:
1/2 cup barley (better less than more)

Fill a pressure cooker (or stockpot) 1/2 way with water. Add the turkey legs, wings, and all leftover meat. Toss in the onion, green pepper, carrots, soup, and pepper.  
Cook in the pressure cooker for 20 minutes, then remove from heat for 1/2 hour.
If using a large pot instead, simmer for 2 hours. Then cool for 10 minutes. 
Once cool, strain all the solids from the liquid. Transfer the liquid to a stockpot. Peel meat off legs, wings, etc. and add to liquid. Discard all other solids. 
Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Next day, skim off fat from top of liquid. Add barley and cook for 1 more hour. Season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Serve with bread and butter. I love to serve this soup with my dad's homemade whole wheat molasses bread. (recipe to come soon!)

Other soups in the Recipe Journal collection include: Fall Vegetable SoupChicken Noodle Soup, and Chicken Corn Chowder.

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