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Friday, November 12, 2010

Smoked Turkey Vegetable Soup with Rice

A soup in process...
For the month of November, I'm going to focus on soups. Winter approaches, and with it icy weather (not here, of course... today it's quite temperate out. My point remains!) Icy weather demands, of course, hot foods to warm your frozen body, a fireplace to warm your clothing, and a good book to warm your mind. My purview is the first; so today, I shall begin for you with a soup recipe.

Turkey is a seasonally-appropriate item for fall, especially with Thanksgiving less than two weeks away. Smoked turkey, however, is often available year-round, and once consumed you're usually left with carcasses...

Carcasses, fortunately, are notably useful in the kitchen. I saved up several from various sources (my father's office had a couple turkeys, and he was kind enough to give me the bones) and made a smoked turkey stock from them which has been living in my freezer for the last little while.

Therefore, I present to you, Smoked Turkey Vegetable Soup with Rice

Mise-en-place for this recipe.
2 1/2 qt. Smoked Turkey Stock
2 oz All-Purpose Flour
2 oz Clarified Butter
1 cup White Rice
1 Carrot, Julienne (1/8"x1/8"x2")
1 Potato, Medium Dice (1/2" cubes)
1/2 Onion, Small Dice
1 Stalk Celery, Julienne
Salt and White Pepper

This is roux, as made for this dish.
1. Make a roux with the butter and flour, preferably in a pot large enough to hold your stock with room to spare. If you're confused by the concept of a roux, no worries. Skip to the end of this post, and I'll explain it there. When it's reached the blonde stage, add the stock and whisk vigorously to eliminate lumps. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Take care during this step, as roux makes things boil over readily.

2. Add rice to the pot and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. During this time, the roux will also begin to thicken the soup noticeably. Keep stirring off and on, as the rice will want to clump up.

3. Add the potato to the soup, and cook for 10 minutes.

Sautéed vegetables.
4. Sauté the carrot, onion, and celery in a small amount of fat (1 tbsp) until they're tender but not soft, or about half-cooked. Add to the soup, and simmer until the potato is cooked.

If you want to have a meaty soup, you could add some cooked chicken or turkey to the soup at this point, simmer until it was warmed through, and serve; for a vegetable soup, leave it stand.

5. Season with salt and white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper, or indeed both if you so desire) and serve... ideally with some crusty bread.

This is a very hearty soup. It will get thicker the longer you have to let it sit on the stove; have some extra stock handy to thin it down if need be. It's also rather thrifty, since it starts with using the carcass of another item, and ends up using about $4 or less of food to create enough to serve... well, two quarts of soup this hearty will likely feed a small dinner party. I'd call it 8-10.
Behold, Soup!

Roux is a mixture of equal parts (by weight) of flour and fat, typically and traditionally clarified butter, that is allowed to cook before being added to a liquid. It thickens the liquid through the action of the starch in the flour. You can use all-purpose flour for a roux, but cake or pastry flour will work slightly better since they contain more starch.

To make a roux, you first heat your butter (or other fat,) over medium-high heat, then add the flour to it. Begin mixing immediately with a spatula or spoon, and make sure that all the flour contacts all the fat; there should be no dry areas in the pan. Keep cooking, and you'll notice a light foam forming on the bottom of the mixture as you stir it. This is a good sign, and means the roux is going along properly. This is what's known as a white roux, used for light-colored soups or white sauces. Continuing to cook a few minutes will get a slightly golden color to the roux, a state known as blonde roux. This will thicken slightly less, but will impart a better flavor to the dish; it's used in ivory-colored sauces and soups. If you keep cooking and stirring, you'll get to the brown roux state, which is heralded by a red-brown color and a nutty aroma. Brown roux is used in brown sauces, dishes where the dark color is desired, and dishes where a rich flavor is desired. The brown roux will not thicken as well as the white roux, but it will also impart more flavor—everything in cooking is a trade-off.


  1. more winter recipies please!! :D

  2. Bless you sir for posting a Roux recipe! I can never remember quantities and always fail miserably on my first attempt. I didn't know about the different types of Roux either. Hooray for culinary knowledge!

  3. Where do you get smoked Turkey stock? Do I save the bones from Ren Faire Turkey legs and make it from that, or something?

  4. You can get smoked turkey parts/whole smoked turkeys from some poultry/butcher shops, and use the bones from them. I happened to have a whole smoked turkey carcass on hand when I was cooking, so I used it to make stock.


Your opinions and comments always are welcomed, but do be civil... this isn't a kitchen, after all.