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Turkey and Orzo Soup

Soup season is here and there's nothing better than using your leftover turkey to create a hardy, tummy warming turkey soup. We had a bit of snow here in North Georgia last night and the wind was blowing cold, this soup warmed me right up! My grandmother came over from Europe when she was a girl and left a war torn country where she learned from her mother to stretch every dollar. No food went to waste including the leftover chicken or turkey bones from a meal. I also feel that the bird or animal that gave its life to feed us deserves to be honored and not wasted.


Place your leftover turkey in a large soup pot and fill it up, covering the bones and then some, I used a 16 quart pot for a 15 lb bird. Simmer on low until reduced to about half. This took about 8 hours. Use a strainer to separate the bones and catch the broth in a large bowl and allow to cool before you begin separating the meat from the bones. While you're doing this you can roast two large or three medium sized poblano peppers in the oven at 400 degrees. The peppers are done when the skin is charred, usually 15 minutes. Put the peppers in a plastic bag to cool and then peel the skin off. Chop up your carrots, celery, leeks, onion, red peppers, roasted poblanos, and garlic. Sauté the veggies in two tablespoons of butter in the soup pot until soft along with the oregano and basil. Add the broth and the turkey meat back into the pot with the veggies. Tie your herbs into a bundle with twine, I used sage and tarragon as I had these leftover from thanksgiving, but you can use whatever you have leftover, rosemary works too. Add two tablespoons of better than bullion vegetable base. I use this whenever I'm making soups, it adds so much flavor. Simmer for about an hour, then add the orzo pasta or any pasta you like. Let it simmer until the pasta is cooked, salt and pepper to taste. I brined my turkey, so I was careful on the amount of salt I added. Also, the bullion has sodium in it, so definitely taste before you add salt, and then taste again. I made some buttermilk biscuits from the can and brushed them with a generous amount of butter and Italian herbs before baking to serve with the soup.


Leftover turkey carcass


Two large or three medium poblano peppers, roasted and chopped

Four or five large carrots chopped

Five celery stalks chopped

Two leeks sliced thin

1/2 Vidalia onion chopped

Two red peppers chopped

Four large cloves of garlic chopped

Two tablespoons of oregano

one tablespoon of basil

Large sprig of sage

Large sprig of tarragon

Two tablespoons of Better than Bullion vegetable base

One and a half cup Orzo pasta

Salt and Pepper to taste


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