Tag Archives: turkey

Time Out Soup: Turkey and Farro Soup with Carrots and Shiitake Mushrooms

This is a Sunday soup (or, in this case, a Tuesday soup). It’s a perfect antidote to a long holiday weekend punctuated with big meals and late evenings. It’s restorative, healthy, and nourishing and a perfect time-out meal to enjoy on a relaxed evening with no social agenda. It’s also a simple way to use some of that leftover turkey lurking in your fridge. If you don’t have turkey, fear not, chicken works just as well, so if you’ve soldiered through your Thanksgiving leftovers  you can easily use cooked chicken meat or a rotisserie chicken from your local store or farmer’s market. That’s why I often call this a Tur-Chicken soup.

There are two important ingredients I like to add to this soup. Shiitake mushrooms impart a slinky umami flavor to the stock, and farro, an ancient nutty wheat grain, lends satisfying heft to each slurp. Use pearled or semi-pearled farro for easiest cooking. Whole grain farro, while the healthiest option, requires soaking and a long cooking time of at least one hour, and has a distinct earthy flavor. Milder semi-pearled farro still retains some of its nutritious bran and germ but is scored to hasten cooking, and pearled farro is completely stripped, thus the least nutritious, but quickest to cook. If farro is not available, pearl barley is a good substitute.

Turkey and Farro Soup with Carrots and Shiitake Mushrooms

Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 to 50 minutes
Serves 4 to 6

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
6 ounces small shiitake mushrooms, ends trimmed
6 cups turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup pearled farro or pearl barley
2 thyme sprigs or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken breast meat
2 tablespoons finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

Heat the oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until it softens without coloring, about 3 minutes. Toss in the carrots and mushrooms and sauté until the carrots brighten in color and the mushrooms begin to release their juices, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the farro and cook briefly, stirring to coat and lightly toast the grains, and then add the stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the farro is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the chicken (or turkey), salt, and pepper and top off with additional stock if needed. Simmer until the chicken is heated through. Ladle the soup into bowls, and serve hot, garnished with the parsley.

Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

If you are anticipating a holiday food hangover this season, then take note of this recipe. Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale is the perfect antidote to excess. Not only does it put to use any left over turkey stock you may have, this healthy, economical soup is loaded with vegetables and high fiber barley. Handfuls of nutrient-rich kale are added to the soup in the end, so there is just enough time to wilt the leaves without overcooking. The extra ingredient to this wholesome soup is a spoonful of red miso paste, which adds depth and that elusive umami quality which keeps you coming back for more. Luckily, this is one meal you can indulge in seconds without feeling guilty.

Mushroom Barley Soup with Miso and Kale

Chicken stock may easily be substituted for turkey stock. Serves 4-6.

Olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
Salt
8 ounces sliced assorted mushrooms, such shitake, cremini, cepes
2 large carrots, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 cup barley
2 teaspoons fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried
8 cups chicken or turkey stock
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 cups kale leaves, tough stems removed, leaves shredded
1 tablespoon red miso paste

Heat oil in a medium sized stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and 1 teaspoon salt; sauté 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrots; sauté 3 minutes. Add barley and thyme and stir to coat. Add stock, bay leaf  and pepper. Bring to boil, then reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until barley is tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in kale. Simmer until kale turns bright green and wilts, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the miso. Taste For seasoning. Serve garnished with fresh thyme.

On a Stick! and a recipe for Chinese Meatballs

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Here’s the thing: It’s fun to eat with your hands, and Matt Armendariz has figured this out. In his new book On a Stick! it seems that every food you may think of is fair game for skewering. It might be simple:  Crudité Skewers with Latin Green Goddess Dressing or Caprese Sticks with Mozzarella, Basil and Tomatoes. It might be more complex: Deep Fried Ravioli or Spaghetti and Meatballs anyone? Or perhaps you are craving something sweet. How about Frozen Bananas Dipped in Chocolate or Strawberry Shortcake? Yes, that’s right – all on a stick.

On a Stick! puts the fun in food, taking ordinary and exotic recipes and sticking it to them, so to speak, along with an assortment of dipping sauces – because, after all, dipping a stick in a sauce, dressing, salsa or chutney is half the fun of eating food on skewers.  If you would like to enjoy a little simple pleasure, if you need to entice your kids to eat their veggies, or if you wish to invite your 20 closest friends to a party, you will appreciate this book.  There’s something in it for everyone, and fun doesn’t get more tasty than this.

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For my first recipe, I tried the Chinese Meatballs, which are a spicy, savory concoction of ground turkey, cilantro and spices. Fragrant with ginger and garlic, these addictive little morsels are served with a sweet and sour chili sauce. I pan fried them rather than deep fried them before dutifully skewering with bamboo sticks. And you know what? They really do taste better on a stick.

Chinese Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce
Makes about 12 meatballs

3/4 pound lean ground pork or turkey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 bunch cilantro, minced
1 scallion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl with your hands to thoroughly combine. Form into 12 small even balls. Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the meatballs in one layer without overcrowding. Cook, turning, until browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. Repeat with remaining meatballs. Skewer with toothpicks or bamboo sticks. Serve with Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce.

Sweet and Sour Chili Sauce

1 cup rice wine vinegar
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons minced lemon grass
1/2 bunch mint, minced
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon seeded and minced red jalapeño
1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger

Stir vinegar, sugar and lemongrass in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until sugar dissolves and liquid reduces by one-third. Strain into a bowl and cool completely. Stir in mint, cilantro, garlic, red jalapeño and ginger. Serve warm or at room temperature, alongside the meatballs.

Recipe reprinted with permission from On a Stick! Written and photographed by Matt Armendariz. Published by Quirk Books.

Full disclosure: I received a free copy of On a Stick! from Quirk Books.

Holiday Timeout: Turkey Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard

Turkey soup

I posted this recipe last year between Christmas and New Year when I suffered a food hangover and needed a gastronomic time-out.  This soup was the perfect antidote:  simple, healthy and fortifying.  It handily uses the leftovers from a holiday turkey dinner, adding a satisfying economy to the pleasure of this meal. The broth is clean and light and packed with chunky vegetables.  Swiss chard is added at the end for extra depth.  During the ever-so-festive excesses of the holiday season, we all need a comforting and restorative dish like this in our repertoire.  Consider this recipe an early holiday gift from me to you. Happy Thanksgiving!

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard

Serves 4-6

Try using red Swiss chard – it adds a lovely red hue to the stock as it cooks.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise, cut in thick slices
3 large carrots, sliced 1/2″ thick
4 celery stalks, sliced 1/2″ thick on the diagonal
8 cups turkey stock (see below)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups thickly shredded Swiss chard leaves
2 cups cooked turkey meat, in large chunks

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onion, carrots and celery. Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables brighten and begin to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add turkey stock, bay leaf and thyme.  Bring to a boil and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in Swiss chard and turkey meat.  Simmer until chard is wilted.  Discard bay leaf.  Serve immediately.

Easy turkey stock:

Bones from turkey carcass
1 large yellow onion, quartered
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 celery stalks, cut in 1″ pieces
2 large carrots, cut in 1″ pieces
2 bay leaves
2-3 thyme sprigs
1 small handful parsley sprigs
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Place all of the ingredients in a large stockpot.  Cover with water.  Bring to a boil, and simmer, partially covered, 2-3 hours, occasionally skimming any fat. Remove from heat.  Carefully drain in a colander placed over a large bowl or saucepan.  Strain again through a fine meshed sieve.  Cool.  Stock can be refrigerated up to 3 days or frozen up to 6 months.

Holiday Timeout: Turkey Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard

Turkey soup

I am going to slip this recipe right in. Flanked by a Christmas Eve house party with lots of gløgg and hors d’oeuvres and a looming New Year’s black tie dinner, I made this simple, healthy and restorative soup the other day for a gastronomique time-out.

In addition to a Christmas Eve party spread of food, we roasted a turkey for our Christmas Day meal. It may sound redundant on the heels of Thanksgiving, but for Thanksgiving this year we were graced with airport and airline food as we were in transit home from a trip to New York City. While we missed the traditional holiday, it was refreshingly civilized at JFK; we enjoyed a smooth glitch-free day of travel courtesy of the Thanksgiving holiday. We comforted ourselves with the thought of saving our turkey binge for Christmas Day, instead.

So, back to the recipe:  I made this soup using the stock I made from our Christmas turkey, and filled it with vegetables left over from our party.  While the recipe calls for turkey stock and turkey meat, chicken can easily be substituted.  During the ever-so-festive-and-excessive holiday season, this homey soup is delicious, comforting and healthy.  I cannot think of a better gastronomic time-out.

Turkey Vegetable Soup with Swiss Chard
Serves 4-6

The chard adds heartiness to this flavorful soup.  Choose either red or green chard; you will find the red chard will add a deep red color to the stock.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved lengthwise, cut in thick slices
3 large carrots, sliced 1/2″ thick
4 celery stalks, sliced 1/2″ thick on the diagonal
8 cups turkey stock
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups Swiss chard leaves, shredded
2 cups cooked turkey meat, in large chunks

Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large pot.  Add onion, celery and carrots.  Sauté over medium heat until the vegetables begin to soften, 3 minutes.  Add turkey stock, bay leaf and thyme.  Bring to a boil, and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 20 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in Swiss chard and turkey meat.  Simmer until chard is wilted.  Discard bay leaf.  Serve immediately.