What to do with leftover turkey? Tuscan turkey tortellini soup!
Another Thanksgiving in the bag! We did it! The question is how early did you get up for Black Friday shopping? Or did you just not go to sleep? If you are one of the determined minions, then you deserve something warm with rejuvenating qualities after you stumble home from the mall. This is it!
Actually, the more I think about it, you probably just need a mile high turkey sandwich piled with stuffing and cranberry sauce – and an adult beverage… But at some point this weekend, you’re going to be cursing that turkey carcass that’s taking up all the room in your fridge. This is the answer.
If you’ve never made your own stock, you’ll be amazed at how truly simple it is. Actually, the stove does most of the work. You don’t even have to be particularly fussy when prepping the vegetables – no need to peel the carrots. A rough chop of everything will do nicely.
Your knife skills come later — on the vegetables that matter – the ones that actually make it into the soup. You can add the vegetables raw if you’re time pressed, but I like a quick saut? with some fresh herbs to infuse more flavors.
After the stock has simmered, simply discard the turkey carcass, strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve and discard the remnants in the strainer. Voila, stock!
Then it’s time to add all the good stuff, like the last of the turkey bits, and some white kidney (cannellini) beans.
To make this soup more substantial (and more of a treat) I added cheese filled tortellini, but you could add any pasta, filled or not. Butternut squash ravioli? Why not? Mini farfalle or penne? Sure!
Just don’t forget a little parmesan for sprinkling and some oven toasted or grilled crostini — just because.
turkey tortellini soup
for the stock
- 1 turkey carcass & and leftover - but as yet un-gnawed bones from turkey
- 8 cups water
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 4 juniper berries optional
- 3 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 large onion roughly chopped
- 2 stalks celery roughly chopped
- 2 carrots no need to peel, roughly chopped
- 6 ounces mushrooms sliced
- pinch of salt
- 2 large carrots peeled and 1/2" dice
- 2 stalks of celery peeled and 1/2" dice
- 1/2 onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper 1/2" dice
- 1 zucchini 1/2" dice
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes according to your tastes
- 1 15- ounce can diced tomatoes in their juice
- 1 15- ounce can great northern or white kidney beans rinsed and drained
- 2-3 cups leftover turkey meat diced
- 6-8 ounces cheese tortellini
- 1 7 " square cheesecloth
- 1 3 " piece of kitchen string
for the stock
Place the turkey carcass and bones into a large dutch oven or stock pot.
Make the spice sachet by placing the cheesecloth on a work surface and filling it with the peppercorns, juniper berries, cloves and fennel seeds. Gather the ends together and secure the sachet with kitchen string.
Add the bay leaves and spices to the turkey. Add water and the roughly chopped celery, carrots and onion. Place the lid on the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and set the lid askew so that steam can escape. Simmer for 1 hour.
Remove the carcass and bones from the stock and discard. Set a fine mesh strainer over a large bowl. Pour the stock and vegetables into the strainer. Discard the vegetables. Pour the stock back into the pot.
For the soup
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Saute until mushrooms give up their liquid - about 3-4 minutes. Add carrots, celery, onion, bell pepper zucchini, basil and crushed red pepper flakes. Saute until vegetables are softened, 3-5 more minutes.
To the stock add sautéed vegetables, can of diced tomatoes, beans, turkey meat and tortellini. Stir to combine. Heat soup until just before boiling and cook until tortellini is tender.
Serve with freshly grated parmesan, grilled crostini or oyster crackers.