Turkey Vegetable Noodle Soup with White Beans
Friday in the Quarantine Kitchen…
Okay, this one’s easy, it’s really good and hearty, and it’s made from found stuff in the fridge, freezer, or cupboards. I should point out that the base of this is a stock that I made back at Thanksgiving. On Black Friday, when the fam all headed out at 5 am to the outlets I a) slept in; and b) threw the turkey bones, and other leavings in a pot with lots of water, an onion, a celery stalk, a carrot, and some garlic. I do this every year—you should, too (I also do that with all my vegetable peelings and scraps to make a veggie stock). I simmer the stocks until four quarts of water are reduced to two, then pour the strained stock into Chinese-restaurant soup containers and freeze them. So I always have “no-sodium stock on hand when the need arises.
In this time of “Love in the Time of Corona,” E wanted to use up old stuff to make room for the restock we were about to do because of the “stay-at-home” thing. So a-hunting we did go.
She found stock in the freezer and a bag full of undetermined turkey things (they ended up being a whole thigh and some bits picked from the backbone—including the “oysters”), and asked me to do something with them, something the kids might like (have I mentioned that we currently have two college kids attending school while they are living in our “empty nest?”).
Most everything in the soup is “found;” I simply used up stuff. It’s the best way to go. Here’s what I did:
2 Tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil (I make it myself–see NOTE*)
1 medium onion
2 celery hearts (leftovers from something else)
2 large carrots
1 teaspoon dried thyme (from last summer’s patio garden)
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed (ditto)
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 bag of turkey remains (also previously discussed—about 2 cups diced)
1/2 cup elbow macaroni (the bottom of a box—too little for a normal recipe). Any noodle will do, even lasagna noodles, broken up.
1 cup white beans (left over from last week’s amazing bean/pizza casserole—March 23, two posts previous).
1. Heat a large soup pot over medium heat; add the olive oil to the hot pot.
2. Halve then onion, cut 1 inch from the top of the carrots, and remove 1 inch of the celery from the root end (shave off the brown end). Place them all, cut side down, in the hot oil and cook, unmoved, until they begin to brown.
3. Remove the vegetables from the pot and chop them—and the remaining carrots and celery—into bite-size pieces and return them to the pot. Cook them, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, 7-10 minutes.
4. Add the flour to the oil in the pot and cook, stirring constantly, until it begins to brown. Add the thyme and dill and stir one more minute.
5. Add the stock (mine was still somewhat frozen), stirring until the flour is incorporated—about two minutes. Then add the turkey, cut into bite-size pieces. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer
, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes.
6. Bring to a rolling boil and add the noodles (I used elbow macaroni—it’s what I had in the cupboard), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking to the bottom of the pot, and cooking to the time recommended on the box.
7. Place the beans in the cup of a blender; Add 2 cups of the hot stock and blend until completely mashed up (or do it in a bowl with an immersion blender—I did). Return the bean/stock mixture to the pot and simmer 15 minutes, mixing well.
8. Serve with crusty bread.
This soup stores well in the fridge for about three days (no longer!), and gets better as it sits. And, it’s creamy, but the kids won’t know that it’s from the beans (plus, it’s a little extra protein).
*NOTE: Garlic-infused olive oil: peel and smash the cloves from one head of garlic. Place 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil and the smashed garlic cloves in a saucepan. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until the oil begins to bubble. Turn the heat down to a low simmer and heat for 30 minutes, turning the garlic cloves once, until they just begin to brown; don’t let them burn. If they are browning too quickly turn the heat down a bit. After 30 minutes, turn the heat off and let the oil cool for another 30 minutes. Funnel the oil through two layers of paper towel (or a coffee filter) into an opaque or dark colored glass bottle. Close the bottle with an air-tight lid. Light and air are the enemies of good olive oil.