Turn turkey into a curried soup

29th November, 2010 - Posted by admin - Comments Off

Coconut curry turkey soup

Happy post-Thanksgiving one and all! Hopefully you saved your turkey carcass and have already made stock. If you haven’t, then this column is for you.

Stock is one of those ingredients that divides the cooks from the people who merely eat. It has a hundred uses, freezes well and doesn’t need much minding, so it can be made while doing other things. Yes, stock or broth can be purchased in handy boxes, but why do that when you can make your own with ingredients that are already in the house and have total control over what goes in the pot?

To make a good turkey stock, start with one picked-over turkey carcass. A lot of recipes will say to roast the bones before boiling. Thanks to Thanksgiving dinner, that part is already done. Put the carcass into a large stock pot with equal amounts of carrots, onion and celery, a couple cups of each is generally a good amount to start with.

Cover with cold water, add a bay leaf or two and a couple tablespoons of pepper corns and cook at a low simmer for two to four hours adding more water if needed.

When it’s done, pour everything into a colander over a large bowl and cool quickly. The best way to do this is to put the bowl into a sink full of ice water and stir until cool. At this point, the stock can be frozen or put to other uses immediately.

I like the soup recipe below because it uses both turkey and stock, along with a lot of vegetables, but has a spicy, exotic flavor. If you are craving a trip to someplace warm and far away, this will help with the fantasy.

If adding squash to a curry seems odd, keep in mind that pumpkins and other squash are native to Asia. Their mild, slightly sweet flavor pairs well with the spices and the vitamins are always good this time of year. Pumpkin would also be a good substitute if squash isn’t at hand.

The recipe calls for a mild Indian curry paste, red curry paste can be substituted but use a tablespoon and a half rather than a full two tablespoons. Also, if you wish the final dish to be hotter, increase the cayenne pepper sparingly. Cayenne is unlike other spices in that a small amount can run riot through a dish.

The whole cooking process for this soup will take around an hour, so this probably isn’t a good choice for a quick weeknight supper. But for for a lazy weekend meal, it’s an excellent choice. Like most soups, it improves on the second day, so the leftovers will make an excellent lunch with a green salad and corn muffins.

Curried Coconut Soup
Serves 4 with leftovers

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp mild Indian curry paste
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 cups of turkey or chicken stock
1 can (14 oz) coconut cream or milk
3 small red potatoes (about 3/4 pound)
1/2 of a medium butternut squash, peeled and diced
2 cups shredded cooked turkey
1 1/2 cups corn kernels (1-12oz can, or use frozen)
salt to taste
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, minced (optional)

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onion and saute until golden brown, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and celery and saute 2 minutes. Add curry paste and cayenne and cook 2 minutes more (this enhances the flavours of the spices).

2. Add stock, coconut milk, potatoes, squash, and turkey. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and cook until potatoes and squash are tender. Stir in corn and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.

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Posted on: November 29, 2010

Filed under: Dinner, Soup

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