Leftover Turkey Soup

Many of you are probably winding down from a nice Thanksgiving weekend. You may or may not have had turkey at the center of your table, but if you did, this recipe is for you. One of the most wonderful parts of big turkey dinners, is (in my opinion), getting to make soup from the leftover turkey bones. I am usually fortunate enough to be the recipient of said leftovers when attending family dinners. Sometimes I will pop the bones into the freezer and save them for when I have more time, but this week I got right to work and have been enjoying turkey soup all week long. With the holiday season still looming ahead of us, this recipe may come in handy before you know it!

I have to say, I was inspired by a recipe over on DOTE magazine’s website for a simple turkey and wild rice soup. I also have to say that I am terrible at following recipes, especially for soup. I’ll often find inspiration in a recipe, and then make substitutions and additions as I see fit based on what I’m feeling like, or what’s left in the fridge! In this particular case, I happened to have barley on hand, and not wild rice; I also had some kale still growing in my garden which got thrown into the mix. So feel free to mix up the veggies a bit, or swap out the grain for your favourite (or use pasta!). In my house, making soup is basically an opportunity to clean out the fridge, with delicious results.

turkey soup

Back to the start; if you happened to be the one hosting the dinner, you would have three options for obtaining a turkey at the market (good to know for upcoming holidays). Blush Lane Organic Market has, you guessed it, organic turkeys available. Blu Seafood brings in free-range birds from Winter’s Turkeys. Last but not least, you can also pick up a turkey at Spragg’s Meat Shop. Who knew there were so many options?

Once you have purchased your turkey, invited people over for dinner, and have turkey leftovers, you are now ready to make Leftover Turkey Soup.

Making the stock

Ingredients

  • Turkey bones, bits and pieces
  • A few celery stalks
  • A few carrots
  • One or two onions
  • A bay leaf
  • Peppercorns
  • Salt

I like to make my stock in my slow cooker, but this can also be done in a big stock pot on the stove. Place the bones, veggies, bay leaf, salt and pepper into the slow cooker, and cover everything with cold water. (You can also add more veggies or other herbs as you like for flavour). Depending on how soon you want stock, you can use the high or low setting on the slow cooker. I usually place it on high for 2 – 3 hours, and then switch it to low for the remainder of the time. Making stock can take as long as you want it to. As soon as it’s good and tasty, you can use it, but bone broth tends to get better the longer you can hold out. This is why I like using the slow cooker. Plan for at least 3 or 4 hours (on high heat), but I left this batch on for about 24 hours and by the time I was ready to make soup, it was rich, flavourful and so good!

turkey 6Turkeys have a little more fat than chickens do, so I let the finished stock hang out in the fridge for a while until the fat solidified at the top; making it a bit easier to scrape off the excess. I do like to leave a little bit of the fat in because it has so much flavour (don’t be scared of keeping a little in there!).

Making the soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp olive oil from Soffritto Oil and Vinegar
  • 1 large onion from Innisfail Growers
  • 2 cups celery from Innisfail Growers
  • 2 cups carrots from Lund’s Organics
  • 2 handfuls kale (or other leafy green)
  • 8 cups turkey stock (see above)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tsp dried herbs of your choice (I used thyme and lovage saved from my garden)
  • 3 cups shredded turkey (also leftover from turkey dinner)
  • 1 cup barley

First, chop all of your onion, celery and carrots. Saute the onion for a couple of minutes in the oil, and then add your carrots and celery and cook for another 5 or so minutes.

turkey ingredients

Add your herbs, turkey and turkey stock now, bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for up to an hour. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, throw in a couple handfuls of torn up kale.

ingredients

While your soup is simmering, cook the barley in a separate pot. Set aside until the soup is ready to be served. (Because I find that barley tends to soak up so much of the stock once it’s in the soup, I actually store my barley in a separate container, adding a scoop to my bowl as I eat the soup over the next few days – because the broth is the best part!).

Put a scoop of barley in each bowl, add the hot soup, and enjoy!

No matter how you like to enjoy your leftover turkey, you can get the ingredients you need at the Calgary Farmers’ Market, Thursday – Sunday, 9:00am – 5:00pm, year round. We hope to see you soon!

Simple Asparagus Soup

It’s that wonderful time of year when fresh, local produce really starts rolling in at the market! One of the most anticipated seasonal ingredients making an appearance right now is Edgar Farms‘ asparagus (available at Innisfail Growers).

Unlike many Alberta grown veggies, asparagus is a perennial plant (meaning that it lives for many years, so does not need to be replanted in the spring). Asparagus can be harvested for only a few short weeks each spring, and picking is always completed by the end of June. This allows the plant to store up nutrients to make it through the winter.  Edgar Farms has created an innovative way to harvest asparagus efficiently. See them in action in this video.

Asparagus can be enjoyed in many ways and while often viewed as a great side or compliment to a meal, asparagus is the star of the show in this simple soup recipe.

Asparagus x2

Market Sourced Ingredients

Serves 6

Simple Asparagus Soup

2 bundles of asparagus from Innisfail Growers

1 medium onion from The Cherry Pit

3 cloves of garlic from The Cherry Pit

6 cups of chicken (or veggie) stock from The Stock and Sauce Co.

Butter or olive oil

Salt and pepper

Optional garnishes:

Parmesan cheese from Fresh DELIcious

OR

Fresh mint from Terra Farms

OR

Fresh lemon & dill

Ingredients

Roughly chop your onions, garlic and asparagus. No need to get fancy since it will all be going into the blender eventually.

Heat up the butter or olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the asparagus and chicken (or veggie) stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until asparagus is cooked. When all ingredients are soft, remove from the stove and puree in a blender (making sure to allow steam to escape through the lid).  When the desired texture has been achieved, pour back into a clean pot and heat through. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Simple as that!

You can enjoy the soup right away or add a simple garnish for some extra flavour. Choose a garnish that you enjoy like mint, lemon and dill, or Parmesan cheese.

Soup x3

My personal favourite was the lemon and dill variation. Just add a splash of fresh squeezed lemon juice and a sprig of dill for an energizing twist. Try the mint if you’re looking for something a little different and refreshing, and you can never go wrong with Parmesan cheese! This soup is super versatile and with slight variations can meet the needs and tastes of everyone in your family.

Don’t forget; local asparagus is only available until the end of June! Enjoy this easy meal before the asparagus is gone. Come down to the Calgary Farmers’ Market to pick up your ingredients today!

Dairy-Free Carrot Yam Panch Poran Soup

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It’s that time.  Again.  It’s cooler and crisper in the morning than we’d like to admit we enjoy; a chill that makes you walk a little faster when you’ve forgotten your scarf.  And we’re in that “phew-Thanksgiving-is-over-but-man-I-ate-too-much-turkey-must-get-ready-for-Christmas-parties” phase that sends us all flocking to the gym and revisiting healthy recipes to whip up.  Salads aren’t exactly a cold-weather go-to meal, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your daily quota of healthy veggie-packed lunch (or dinner) from a soup.  And it’ll warm you up after your chilly evening run, right?  This soup is easy, and quick, healthy, and delicious!   We recommend making a big batch of it that you can tuck away in your freezer for those nights when you need a super quick meal; just heat and serve.  AND, it can easily be made vegan with just a few adjustments.

We really took the “healthy” in this recipe to heart and omitted the usual addition of heavy cream, milk, or coconut milk to thicken carrot soup.  While we agree that it makes the soup more robust and luxurious, the vibrant-veggiriffic-ness of this soup sans dairy is a much lighter option for those watching their waist lines or the lactose-intolerants.  Can you add the cream?  Knock yourself out!  Do you need to?  Absolutely not.  It’s a personal (and often dietary) preference really; we like it both ways.

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Market-Sourced Ingredients

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil + more for garnish

1 medium onion, diced from Innisfail Growers

1 large apple (variety is left up to you, we used Honeycrisp), peeled & chopped from Souto Farms

1 medium sized yam from Souto Farms

1.5 pounds carrots, chopped from Beck Farms found at Innisfail Growers (once you taste these famous Nantes carrots, you’ll never go back)

1L vegetable broth from The Stock & Sauce Co.

3 tbsp of Panch Poran, toasted from The Silk Road Spice Merchant

Kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper (or pink peppercorns as we opted for), to taste

In a large pot, add 1 tbsp olive oil over low-medium heat.  Add chopped onion and cook for about 5 minutes until translucent.  Reduce heat to low and let caramelize slightly.  Add chopped apple, yam, and carrots and cook for a few minutes more.

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Curry and carrots are very common combination, particularly in a Fall soup, but we wanted to do something a little different.  So, instead of the typical curry powder/paste addition, we’ve added the not-so-common Panch Poran.  A blend of nigella seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds, Panch Poran comes from the Bengal region of India.

Panch Poran Collage

We dry-roasted the seeds in a hot pan for two minutes before grinding in a mortar and pestle. Panch Poran works especially well with vegetables like squash, cauliflower and potatoes; a perfect Fall pairing without the pungent punch of curry (which we love, but isn’t for everyone).  The spice in this soup is a subtle, warm flavor that will appeal to even the most discerning of palates.

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Add the vegetable broth with another litre of water, stir, and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes covered, or until tender.

Carefully transfer half of the soup into a blender and blitz until smooth making sure to allow steam to escape through the lid.  (You can use an immersion blender but to achieve that unctuous, creamy soup, you’ll really want to use your blender).  Remove blended soup and set aside.  Now add the other half and blend again.  Be careful as it’s very hot.

If you choose to add dairy, now would be the time.  Place soup back in the pot and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and garnish with freshly ground pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.