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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Here's a great way to use that leftover turkey carcass...

Yesterday, I got out the stock pot, broke apart the carcass, and placed that and the wings in the pot with 2 coarsely chopped onions, the leafy tops from my celery, 8 baby carrots, 2 bay leaves and about 8 sprigs of flat parsley. I added water to cover, brought to a boil, then adjusted down to just a simmer for 3 hours. Ran the stock through a strainer and chilled the stock overnight. Today I have two big containers of turkey stock. Part of it I will freeze in ice cube trays and then put the cubes in a ziploc so I have small amounts of broth handy anytime I need it. The rest is for soup tonight.

Ever since I was a kid, a big pot of turkey soup has been as much a part of Thanksgiving to me as the main meal. My dad always makes a big vat of turkey, mushroom and wild rice soup. YUM. My hubby isn't as fond of rice soups, so this year I took a cue from my chowder recipe, and came up with this recipe as a new twist on turkey soup.
Baked-Potato Turkey Chowder

4 medium red potatoes
3 slices of bacon, diced
1T olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
4 cups of turkey stock
2 cups of cooked, diced turkey
2 cups of milk
1 package of country gravy mix
½ package of light cream cheese
½ teaspoon of dried dill
pepper and salt to taste
chopped green onions, shredded cheddar cheese for garnish

Turn oven to 400 degrees. Wash and dry potatoes, pierce several times with fork, and place in oven until tender, about 40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly. Peel if you like (I like the skins on), and chop into cubes.

In dutch oven, cook bacon on medium high until crispy. Remove to paper towels to drain and save for garnish. Add oil to drippings, adjust heat to medium and sauté onion, celery and carrots for about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes, and turkey. (using a fork, lightly mash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot for good texture) In separate bowl, stir milk and country gravy mix together, add to soup and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, add cream cheese, dill, pepper and additional salt if necessary (country gravy is pretty salty so taste before adding). Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in bowls with cheese, onion and bacon for passing.