Tasty Turkey Soup from John Michael Lerma

John Michael Lerma, a Twin Cities chef and pie-making extraordinaire (he’s from Grand Forks, too!), left this little gem of a recipe on the GF Gourmet Facebook page and I thought it looked too good not to post here.

John Michael Lerma

1 turkey carcass
6 quarts water
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 large onions, chopped
3 carrots, chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 cups half-and-half (regular or fat-free)

1. In an 8-quart or 12-quart stock pot, pour enough water to cover the turkey carcass. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat until bubbles are just rising to the top of water. Simmer for 1 hour.

2. Remove carcass from broth and, when cool enough to handle, remove meat from the bones. Strain broth through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth. Set meat and broth aside.

3. In an 8-quart stock pot melt butter over medium-low heat. Add flour and, constantly stirring, cook for 5 minutes. Add onions, carrots and celery. Continue to stir and cook an additional 10 minutes until vegetables are tender.

4. Add 3 ½ quarts of turkey broth, turkey meat, rice, salt, and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Stir often as the rice tends to settle on the bottom of the stock pot and may scorch.

5. Reduce heat until bubbles are just rising to the top of the soup. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is tender, stirring occasionally. Add half-and-half. Blend well and heat for 10 minutes. Serves 10-12

This Thanksgiving, I tried something I hadn’t before: Simmering the turkey carcass and meat scraps overnight. I roasted the bones for a bit at high heat and then covered them with water and set the oven to 180 degrees and left it for about 10 hours. It yielded a huge pot of delicious turkey stock that I used in a big batch of soup that day. If you already discarded your turkey bones, don’t worry. Next year, freeze the carcass after you roast the bird and save it for a particularly cold day. Then follow John Michael’s recipe above for a hearty, warming soup!